Expect Fister & the Nationals to Bounce Back Against Phillies for Your MLB Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, April 16, 2015 2:16 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015 2:16 PM GMT

The Phillies travel to Washington for a matchup against the Nationals. Our expert analyst takes a look at key factors that will play a role in tonight's MLB pick he has in store for you. 

Philadelphia Phillies (Hamels) vs. Washington Nationals (Fister) (-130) 7:05 ET
The Philadelphia Phillies travel to Washington for the first of a 4-game weekend set at the Nation’s capital.  These teams met last weekend in Philly with Washington losing the first 2 games by scores of (4-1) and (3-2) before rebounding for a (4-3) victory on Sunday. This is a pitching rematch of the Saturday game in which today’s Philadelphia starter, Hamels, worked 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits. Fister also pitched an outstanding contest in that game, failing to allow a run to the Phillies.  Since that game, however, fortunes have changed dramatically for these two teams with the Phillies going 0-4 SU, being outscored 18-9.  Washington, meanwhile, has at last found their hitting shoes.  

 

This Phillies team has faded dramatically in recent seasons and tonight they're listed as short dogs on the MLB odds. After being a perennial contender for many seasons, the Phillies have averaged just 76 wins the last 3 years, including identical 73-89 seasons in 2013 and 2014.  There is virtually no hope for improvement with the Phillies’ projected win total of 67 games (the lowest in the majors). In an effort to continue the rebuilding process, they have been hoping to trade their ace pitcher, Hamels.  They have yet to have success. In the meantime, Hamels continues to pitch effectively, especially against this opponent.  In 32 starts, Philly has a 23-9 record against Washington with Hamels posting a 2.59 ERA.  But, the Philadelphia offense clearly cannot be trusted.  In going 3-6 this season, the Phillies have averaged just 2.4 RPG, scoring more than 4 runs only once. 

Find here three fantastic MLB picks for Thursday's schedule

Washington Nationals were predicted to be the best team in the National League, approaching the 96 wins of last year.  That would be no surprise as this team has averaged over 93 wins per year in the last 3 seasons, including 96-66 last year. They have quality bats and an outstanding starting pitcher rotation.  Therefore, the 3-6 SU start has been quite shocking.  Largely responsible for the 2-5 SU start was a Washington offense, who in the first 7 games, batted just .185 while averaging just 2.4 RPG. All that has changed in the last 2 nights with the Nationals at last exploding for 17 runs in the final 2 games at Fenway Park on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Now, they return home where they tied for a National League best (51) home wins.  They do so behind a pitcher who is red hot and who has an outstanding history from this mound.  Dating to last year’s playoffs, Fister enters tonight’s action with 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings under his belt!  He matches Hamels’ strong history with 5 starts against the Phillies, in which he has posted a 2.12 ERA.  Most impressively, however, has been Fister’s work from this mound where last year, in 11 starts, he went 8-2 with a 1.72 ERA.  

This handicapper also previews the Rays vs. Blue Jays Matchup

The Nationals won’t take the Phillies lightly after losing 2 of 3 last weekend.  Now that they have found their hitting shoes, they will have a clear edge at the plate.  With that in mind, it is easy to back the red hot Fister with our MLB picks, as he has a strong history from this mound and will easily subdue the impotent Philadelphia lineup.

MLB Pick: Take Washington Nationals

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