2020-07-18 18:05:00 EDT
The Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals square off in an exhibition game in MLB action on Saturday evening.
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to pick up where they left off when spring training was shut down in mid-March with a 14-5 preseason record. Alec Bohm and Luke Williams were two of the young bright spots for Philadelphia in spring training, with each logging 9 hits to lead the Phillies while Bryce Harper appeared to be in early season form, batting .500 with 8 hits, 3 home runs and 11 RBIs over the course of the preseason. Christian Bethancourt and Logan Forsythe also had 3 home runs apiece while Rhys Hoskins has 4 extra base hits already in spring training with a .241 batting average. Aaron Nola is expected to start this game and has a 4.50 ERA in 8 innings with 9 strikeouts across three starts in spring training.
The Washington Nationals will be looking to shake the spring training hangover from earlier this year, which saw the defending champs start the preseason 6-11. Luis Garcia and Emilio Bonifacio each have a team-high 10 hits with a home run and 4 RBIs with Garcia batting .417. Juan Soto leads Washington with 7 RBIs, two home runs and 16 total bases. Max Scherzer is expected to get the nod here in preparation for his opening day start against the New York Yankees and he has a 4.26 ERA in 6.1 innings with 10 strikeouts across a pair of starts so far in spring training.
It’s hard to really get an idea of what we’re going to see from either side, as both Nola and Scherzer will probably go a couple of innings and leave it to relievers. If I could’ve found a first 5 innings line, I would’ve been all over the under. With that said, I think the bats will be in slightly better form than the arms, and if we’re going apples to apples, I like the Phillies’ bullpen a lot more than I do Washington’s after we saw Washington’s ‘pen implode time after time last season. In an exhibition game, I don’t see a ton of value in laying juice, so I’ll take a shot with the Phillies and the plus money here.