While no team can totally forget about what happened in the first half of the season, those in contention for a playoff spot need to stop looking back and start thinking about the weeks and months ahead. For many, that will mean making a decision about what to do when the trade deadline comes around. The races are, for the most part, quite close, with the Wild Card battles in each division looking as though they are going to go all the way down to the wire.
In the NL East, the defending division winners, the Atlanta Braves, built themselves a nice little lead prior to the All-Star Break, with the Nationals and Phillies battling it out for the second place. It will be those two teams who will hook up this coming weekend in Philly, with both really needing a series win to keep pace with a Braves team whose offense has very suddenly come to life. It has been the Washington Nationals who have had the best of this series this season, as they come in with a 7-4 edge over the Phillies in their previous 11 meetings.
Nationals vs Phillies MLB Lines, Game Info & Pick
- When: Friday, July 12 at 6:05 PM EST
- Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
- Starting Pitchers: Strasburg vs. Pivetta
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Radio: 94 WIP
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Lines: TBA
Why bet on the Washington Nationals?
There were a lot of folks who were very quick to write the Nationals off earlier this season, as it was beginning to look as though the division was going to be a 2-horse race between the Braves and the Phillies. Fast forward to the All-Star Break and you now find the Nationals up in second place in the division, 6 games off the pace being set by Atlanta.
The Nationals are now 47-42 on the season and were probably a little unhappy to see the mid-season break come along, as they were 8-2 in the 10 games leading up to the cutoff point. The Nationals are still a game under .500 at 21-22 SU on the road this season, although they are a rather solid 24-19 ATS on the road. It will be Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.64 ERA) who gets the start here.
- Runs: 4.94
- Hits: 8.58
- Walks: 3.31
- Strike Outs: 8.43
- Runs: 4.62
- Hits: 8.38
- Walks: 3.10
- Strike Outs: 9.54
Why bet on the Philadelphia Phillies?
It’s easy to forget that the Phillies once had a pretty decent little lead in the division, especially now that they have dropped all the way down to the #3 spot, 6 ½ games back of the Braves, although just a ½ game behind the Nationals. When you see those numbers, you don’t really have to say how important this series is for both teams.
The Phillies looked like a team ready for a few days off, going 5-5 SU in the 10 games leading up to the break. On the plus side of things, they have been good in their own building, going 27-17 SU, although just 20-24 ATS in those games. For this one, the Phillies will hand the ball to Nick Pivetta (4-3, 5.84 ERA) as they try to get this critical series off to a winning start.
- Runs: 4.91
- Hits: 8.34
- Walks: 3.71
- Strike Outs: 8.61
- Runs: 4.89
- Hits: 9.10
- Walks: 3.30
- Strike Outs: 8.34
Nationals vs Phillies MLB Betting Trends
- Nationals are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 5 games this season
- Phillies are 4-8 SU in their last 12 games when playing at home against Washington
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games against an opponent in the National League
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
AS mentioned earlier, it has been the Nationals who have won 7 of the 11 games versus the Phillies this season and I have a feeling that record might get a little better. Strasburg has been great on the mound, so look for him to notch another W.
Score: Washington Nationals 5 – Philadelphia Phillies 3