Phillies vs. Nationals Pick: All Good Things Must End

nationals phillies pick
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

All of a sudden, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves just 1.5 games out of first place in the National League East before their game tonight with the Washington Nationals. One more win in this series would guarantee the Phillies an opportunity to finish the upcoming weekend atop the division.

Let’s jump into a look at the betting odds and make a Phillies vs. Nationals pick and prediction for this matchup on August 4, 2021.

Tonight’s meeting with Washington will pit RHP Chase Anderson against RHP Paulo Espino. Anderson joins Philly’s starting rotation after Vince Velasquez turned in yet another brutal start his last time out.

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Phillies vs. Nationals Odds

Let’s take a quick look at the current Phillies vs. Nationals betting odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

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

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Phillies vs. Nationals Pick

Anderson lost his starting role back in mid-May after his eight subpar starts to open the season. He produced just a 2-4 record with a 6.96 ERA.

Anderson’s four road starts were particularly troubling, as his team went just 1-3 with the righty compiling an 8.74 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. Philadelphia’s opponents averaged seven runs per game in those outings with Anderson lasting an average of just 3 1/3 innings.

Short outings had been an issue for Anderson during his time as a starter.

He failed to last beyond five innings and never topped 92 pitches in his eight starts. Another likely short outing today sets the Phillies up for some troublesome bullpen decisions. A pen that has struggled mightily throughout much of this season will likely have to survive at least four innings tonight.

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Making matters worse for the Phillies, the team placed reliever Connor Brogdon on the injured list Tuesday, further thinning out the list of dependable options. On top of that, Jose Alvarado and Hector Neris pitched for the second night in a row last night, meaning both could be unavailable this evening.

Espino has had different results. He began the season in the bullpen but figures to be a permanent fixture in the starting rotation with the departures of Max Scherzer and Jon Lester. The Nationals are just 4-4 in his starts, but all four of those wins came here at home.

Espino’s impressive 3.08 ERA and 1.04 WHIP overall shrink to a 2.23 ERA and 0.97 WHIP at Nationals Park, where opponents have averaged just 3.5 runs per game. Notably, he helped his team beat the Phillies in his only start against them here in Washington last September.

Current Phillies are just 6-for-26 (.231) against the right-hander, earning just one walk, one double, and one home run.

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Interestingly, the home team has won six of Espino’s last seven starts, including each of the last four. Anderson’s starts have followed a similar tack of late, with the home team winning four of his five most recent starts.

 

 

Washington has only lost the first three games of one of their eight other four-game series this season. They have won 11 of their last 15 home games against right-handed starters and eight of their last nine Wednesday games. Philly has lost each of its last four Wednesday games and had dropped six straight games after scoring five or more runs prior coming into this series.

Prediction

With Aaron Nola slated to start tomorrow and the Philadelphia bullpen stretched thin tonight, this feels like the game the Phillies are going to lose if they do give one away in this series. Based on this season’s prior data, it seems inevitable that they will lose at least one, given that they have just three series sweeps all year, none of which came on the road.

This is Philadelphia’s eighth four-game series and they have won the first three games in just one of the previous seven. Current winners of three straight, Philly has won four or more games in a row just three times this season, losing 7-0 following its last three game win streak. Expect a similar letdown tonight.

Our Pick: Washington -110 (BetMGM)

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