Philadelphia Phillies (68-56) at Washington Nationals (62-63)
|Date & Time||Tuesday August 21, 2018, 7:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Nationals -140 / Philadelphia Phillies +120 --- Over/Under: 9
The Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals meet in the opener of a three game NL East division set from National Park in MLB action on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to bounce back after dropping their series finale with the New York Mets on Sunday night by a final score of 8-2. Carlos Santana belted a home run with two RBIs to make up Philadelphia’s scoring in the loss, while Wilson Ramos and Scott Kingery each added a double. Cesar Hernandez, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera and Roman Quinn each added a base hit as well in the losing effort for the Phils. Nick Pivetta took the loss, falling to 7-10 this season after allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out five over 3.2 innings of work. Vince Velasquez will start game one and is 8-9 with a 4.12 ERA and 133 strikeouts this season. In his career, Velasquez is 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA and 34 strikeouts against Washington.
The Washington Nationals will look to bounce back after dropping the rubber match of their series with Miami in disappointing fashion with a 12-1 loss on Sunday. Adam Eaton and Matt Wieters each recorded a double with Eaton adding an RBI to round out Washington’s offense in the loss as the Nats put up just two hits as a team in the loss. Gio Gonzalez ended up with the defeat, falling to 7-10 this season after allowing eight runs on ten hits while walking four and striking out five over 4.2 innings of work. Tanner Roark will start game one and 8-12 with a 4.13 ERA and 126 strikeouts this season. In his career, Roark is 6-9 with a 4.18 ERA and 94 strikeouts against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is 0-5 in Velasquez’s last 5 road starts and 3-8 in their last 11 road games while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 series opening matchups. Washington is 5-0 in Roark’s last 5 starts and 10-4 in their last 14 home games against a team with a losing road record while the over is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games overall. Philadelphia is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams but just 7-16 in the last 23 meetings between these two teams in Washington.
Neither of these two teams performances over the weekend inspire much confidence, with Philadelphia losing a series against the lowly Mets and Washington getting blown out by the Marlins who may be even worse. However, while I had considered siding with the over in this one, I think the games in this series mean slightly more to Washington who are not only chasing the Phillies in the division, but are also chasing a wild card spot. Roark has also appeared to bounce back from his rocky start, going 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA in his last 5 starts. I’ll side with the Nationals to draw first blood on Tuesday and lay the reasonable juice.