Sunday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
The Phillies let us down Saturday, blowing an early 4-0 lead and eventually falling 8-5 as the bullpen spoiled a decent outing from Cliff Lee. Philly has now lost 10 games in a row on the road.
Washington had scored a total of 20 runs in its previous eight games coming into this series; the Nats have scored 17 runs and rapped out 23 hits through the first two games of this series.
Washington will shoot for its first series sweep in five weeks when the teams meet Sunday afternoon (5:05 pm ET).
Sunday's Betting Line
As of Sunday morning most baseball betting outlets were chalking Washington and Stephen Strasburg at around -220 over Philly and Kyle Kendrick, with a total of seven.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Strasburg (5-9, 3.01), by our tough standards, is 14-for-22 on quality starts this year, and three for his last four. Most recently he held Atlanta to two runs through seven innings, and over his last four starts he's allowed 10 ER through 29 innings. Five of those runs came in one outing vs. Detroit.
On the season the former No. 1 overall draft pick has given up 105 hits in 137 1/3 innings, walked 42 and whiffed 143.
But Washington, in large part because of some poor run support, is just 7-15 in Strasburg's starts this year.
In his one start this season vs. Philly Strasburg gave up one run in eight innings, walking none and striking out nine, in a 6-1 Nats victory back on May 26.
Kendrick (10-8, 4.36) is 12-for-23 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last four. Last time out he gave up four ER in six innings vs. the Cubs, and over his last four starts he's allowed 19 ER through 19 2/3 innings.
For the season Kendrick has given up 155 hits in 144 1/3 innings, walked 34 and struck out 86.
Philly, a team that’s 12 games under .500 overall, is 13-10 in Kendrick's starts.
This will be Kendrick's fourth start this season against Washington; in the first one he got nicked for five runs in five innings, but in the last two he's held the Nats to two ER and seven hits through 14 2/3 innings.
Our Take on Sunday's Game
We bet Kendrick several times earlier this year, and with success. But he's struggled lately, allowing four runs or more in five of his last seven starts, and we've backed away. Strasburg, meanwhile, has been pitching in some tough luck; Washington has lost Strasburg starts by scores of 3-1, 4-2, 3-2, 4-2, 2-0, 3-2, 3-2, 4-2 and 3-2 this season. Our guess is that can't go on forever. But that price is just too damn high. So as it appears the Nats' bats have awoken, we'll gamble a little and go with a run-line play on Washington for our free MLB pick for Sunday.
Pick: Take the Nationals on the run line at the +101 offered at PinBet/+103 offered at MatchBook.
Saturday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Washington took the opener of this series Friday night 9-2, snapping a four-game losing streak. The Nats went 6-for-10 with RISP while getting a quality start from Dan Haren.
Washington won as -170 post-time favorites Friday night, and the game played OVER its total of 8.5.
The Nats will try for a repeat performances the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Saturday night (7:05 pm ET).
Saturday's Betting Lines
As of Saturday AM, most books were listing Saturday's game, which matches Washington rookie Taylor Jordan, against Philly vet. Cliff Lee, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of 7.5.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Rookie righty Jordan (1-3, 3.76) is 2-for-7 on quality starts since joining the big club six weeks ago. Last time out he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Brewers, although that was just the second time in seven starts he's allowed more than three runs.
So far, as a Big Leaguer, Jordan has given up 45 hits, but just two homers, in 40 2/3 innings, walked seven and struck out 23.
In his one career start vs. Philly back on July 9 Jordan allowed three ER and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Washington defeat.
The Nats are 3-4 in Jordan's starts.
Jordan earned a call-up by going 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA pitching in A and AA ball earlier this year
Lee (10-5, 3.13) is a solid 15-for-21 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last four. Most recently he gave up four runs (three earned) and eight hits in five innings against Atlanta, and over his last four outings, which were staggered because he was scratched twice due to a sore neck, he's been tagged for 16 ER and 32 hits, including eight homers, in 24 1/3 innings.
For the season Lee has allowed 132 hits in 149 2/3 innings, walked 24 and struck out 139.
Philly won 10 of Lee's first 15 starts this season, but has lost five of his last six outings.
This will be Lee's third start of this season against Washington; in the first two he gave up six ER and 14 hits, including six dingers, in 15 innings. The Phillies split those two games.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
Washington had been struggling with the sticks until Friday night, when it banged out 12 hits, including six for extra bases. Was last night a bit fluke-ish? Our guess is “yes.” So we'll go with Lee and the Phillies for our free MLB Picks for Saturday.
Pick: Take Philly at the -108 offered at SBR Sportsbook.
Friday Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
MLB action gets under way tonight at Nationals Park in DC, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. How should we approach this series from a sports betting perspective?
Read our daily baseball game breakdown in Friday's MLB Betting Lines & Odds Report!
Phillies-Nats Friday Betting Lines
As of Friday morning most baseball betting outlets were listing Washington and Dan Haren at around -160 over Philly and John Lannan, with a total of 8.5.
Also, The Greek was listing the Nationals at -180 to win this series, with the Phillies getting +160.
Phillies-Nats Series Set-Up
Washington just got swept three games at home by Atlanta this week, and has lost four in a row and 18 of its last 26 games.
So the Nats are now six games under .500 at 54-60, 15.5 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East and nine games back of Cincinnati in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.
The Phillies, meanwhile, just took two of three games from the Cubs this week, but have still lost 14 of their last 17 games. So Philly, at 52-62, is 11 games behind the Reds in that NL wild-card race.
The Phillies lead the season series with the Nats six games to four, with the totals going 5-5.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Looking for info on today's pitching matchups? Check out our Daily Pitching Report for today's analysis!
Haren (6-11, 5.14), by our strict standards, is just 7-for-20 on quality starts this season, but three for his last four. Most recently he held Milwaukee scoreless on four hits through seven innings, and just before that he limited the Mets to one run and three hits through seven innings. Over his last five starts Haren has allowed eight runs and 30 base runners (hits + walks) through 30 innings, and five of those runs came in one outing.
For the season, Haren has given up 127 hits in 112 innings, walked 21 and struck out 99.
Washington won four of Haren's first seven starts this season, then lost 11 of his outings in a row, but has since won his last two starts.
This will be Haren's fourth start this year vs. Philly; in his first three outings vs. the Phillies he allowed nine ER and 18 hits through 17 innings. The Nationals lost all three of those games.
Lefty Lannan (3-4, 4.10) is 6-for-12 on quality starts this season, but one for his last three. Last time out he gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 innings vs. the Braves, and over his last three starts he's allowed nine ER and 25 base runners in 15 1/3 innings.
For the season, the former Nat has given up 73 hits in 68 innings, walked 19 and struck out 34.
But Philly, a team that's 10 games under .500 overall, is 7-5 in Lannan's starts.
In two previous starts vs. Washington this season Lannan has been great, allowing just two runs and 12 hits through 13 innings, walking three and striking out eight. The Phillies won both those games.
These two pitchers have already squared off twice this season, Philly winning both games by scores of 5-4 and 3-2.
Phillies-Nats With the Sticks
Philly ranks 22nd in the Majors with a team OPB of .308 and 24th in scoring at 3.9 runs per game.
Washington ranks 28th in OBP at .299 and 28th in scoring at 3.7 RPG.
Phillies-Nats Betting Trends
Washington is 31-28 at home this season.
Philly is 23-35 on the road this year.
The ‘Over’/’Under’ is 29-27 in games played at Nationals Park this season.
The Nats are six games under .500 overall this year, but 15-15 vs. lefties.
The Phillies are 40-47 vs. righties this season.
Phillies-Nats Injury Update
Philly is still playing without slugger Ryan Howard, who's on the DL with a bad knee, and IF Michael Young is questionable for Friday and this series with a sore hamstring.
Our Take on Friday's Game
Neither of these teams has done anything lately to inspire confidence, so this series should be considered carefully before being bet. As for Friday's match-up Lannan has been solid vs. Washington this season, while Haren, who's been good lately, has had some trouble with Philly. And Haren probably shouldn't be favored by such a price in the baseball odds. So we'll go with the underdog Phillies for our free Friday MLB Picks.
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