Nationals vs. Phillies Pick: Bank on Phils to Rebound

nationals phillies pick
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

One night after a walk-off three-run home run to defeat the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies responded by immediately miring themselves in 3-0 and 6-1 deficits during the first two innings of their four-game set last night. The Nationals went on to win the game 6-4, setting up yet another critical start for Zack Wheeler. He faces off against Washington’s LHP Patrick Corbin tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

Let’s jump into a look at the betting odds and make some Nationals vs. Phillies picks and predictions for this matchup on July 28, 2021.

Wheeler helped earn his team a crucial win in his last start, a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The righty went seven innings, allowing just one run. Wheeler has, ironically, probably had his toughest time with Washington this season. His ERA against the Nats this year is a respectable 3.86, but it’s significantly higher than his 2.37 ERA overall this season, which is the league’s eighth-best mark.

 

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Nationals vs. Phillies Odds

Let’s take a quick look at the current Nationals vs. Phillies betting odds:

TeamOddsMoneylineTotal
Rays+1.5 (-165)+120O 8.5 (-110)
Phillies-1.5 (+145)-140U 8.5 (-110)

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Nationals vs. Phillies Betting Pick

The struggle has instead manifested in his inability to earn a victory against Washington in three starts this season. The Phillies won his first start against the Nationals in extra innings, but then proceeded to lose each of his two home starts against the division rivals, mustering just three total runs of support for Wheeler in those two defeats.

That lack of run support has been the damning theme when Wheeler has faced Washington this season. Despite Wheeler logging 16 1/3 innings pitched in his three outings against the Nationals in 2021, his teammates have pushed across just three runs while he has been on the mound, including just one in each start.

Thankfully, poor offensive performances against Washington seem to be a thing of the past for Philadelphia, as they have piled up 22 runs in the three meetings with the Nationals since Wheeler last faced them. Anything close to that 7.3 runs per game tonight would surely be enough for the Phils to walk away with a victory, given that Wheeler has not allowed more than four runs in a start this season and an opponent has not tallied more than four in a Wheeler home start since April.

He has been dominant at home this season, boasting a 2.09 ERA and 0.84 WHIP, with opponents hitting just .232 against him. The Phillies are 8-4 in Wheeler’s home starts, winning six of those eight by two or more runs. The only one-run wins came in extra innings after the Phillies’ bullpen blew saves in the bottom of the ninth.

Interestingly, Wheeler has been dynamic this season in home starts following 7+ innings in his previous outing. He has pitched six times in that role, lasting at least seven innings each time, while amassing a 1.72 ERA.

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With the Phillies having won Game 1 of this series 6-5, Zack Wheeler is set up with some good history behind him regarding covering the run line tonight. The Phillies have not won multiple games by one run in a single series against Washington since 2018. That was 16 head-to-head series and 49 head-to-head games ago. You have to like the odds it isn’t happening again tonight.

Now the question becomes whether the Phillies can do enough damage against Patrick Corbin to ensure a multi-run victory. It seems an optimistic prospect when you consider Corbin is just 1-5 in his away starts this season with a 6.13 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. His last two starts have been disastrous. He’s allowed 11 runs in just 10 2/3 innings pitched, games the Nationals lost by five and six runs, respectively.

Corbin has good career numbers against the Phillies, but it is worth noting that he has only been a dog of +130 or greater once in his career versus Philadelphia. The Phillies won that game 6-0 last September. We expect a similar result tonight with Philly’s most consistent starter on the mound against a Washington team missing Trea Turner and expected to peddle most of its valuable commodities any day now ahead of the trade deadline.

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Prediction

Prior to last night, the Nats had lost eight straight road games and won just three of their last 10 games after scoring five runs or more previously. Washington is just 18-37 in its last 55 games as an underdog and 18-38 in its last 56 road games against right-handed pitching.

Philadelphia had won four straight games as home favorites before last night and has bounced back to win 10 of its last 12 games following a loss, with five of the last six of those losses coming by two or more runs. Look for a bounce back performance from the highly-motivated Phillies on the mound and at the plate tonight against a disinterested Washington bunch.

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