TV Section: Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies, 4/10/19 7:05 PM ET, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, TV: Washington (MASN), Philadelphia (NBCSP+) – Radio: Washington (106.7 The Fan), Philadelphia (94 WIP, WTTM 1680
Bryce Harper, Bryce Harper, and Bryce Harper. That’s all that anyone is going to want to talk about. But, obviously, we have to talk about both teams as a whole so let’s get into it.
The Nationals come into Wednesday night’s matchup at 5-5 and the Phillies come in at 7-3. This will be the 5thgame already between the two teams this season, as both teams have won two games apiece when facing each other. Harper has played well in each of the four games thus far, yet the Nationals got the best of the Phillies yesterday.
Harper hit a mammoth 3 run homerun in the bottom of the third, but the Nationals hit out four homeruns of their own and stormed back to win the game with a 4-run top of the 10thinning. New Nats catcher Yan Gomes went 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs and a dinger, but the biggest Washington homerun was a 3-run blast from Juan Soto.
Wednesday nights matchup will feature Jeremy Hellickson pitching for the Nationals and Nick Pivetta on the bump for the Phillies, neither of whom have had particularly good seasons throughout the first ten or so games. Expect another offense night, as both teams’ middle lineups are likely to explode for 5+ runs.
The Nats look to get back to a winning record coming into Wednesday night. The NL East is proving each year to be a more and more competitive division and Washington wants to stay in the mix.
Jeremy Hellickson will be on the bump for his first official start of 2019. He has only had a stint out of the bullpen this season, where he gave up 2 runs over 2 innings. His career has been up and down, and this start is a great opportunity for him to get his footing with the Nationals after spending much of last season struggling with his mechanics and with injury.
On the offensive side, the guy who has been holding things down is Anthony Rendon. He has played in all 10 of the Nats games this season, is batting over .400, and has 4 homeruns and 11 RBIs. Yan Gomes and young star Victor Robles are also notable guys who have been getting on base and scoring runs. And, obviously, Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman provide a bit of power to knock those guys in.
However, if the Nationals want to start moving up in the NL East, they’re going to have to fix some issues with the pitching. Their team ERA currently sits at 5.87, 3rdworst in the NL. And while Nationals starting pitching hasn’t been all too bad, the bullpen needs to pull things together. Manager Dave Martinez hopes Hellickson can be an example of the change in pitching the Nats need. Fans should want to see him go at least 6 innings.
Currently sitting atop the NL East, the Phillies have had a strong start to the 2019 season. They look to continue their strong performance and win the rubber game in this 3-game series with Washington.
Nick Pivetta will be starting on the rubber. He looks to put together his first decent start of the season, as he will be entering the game with an ERA of 6.52. However, there is no doubt that he has some lights out stuff, and the Phillies hope that this pivotal game can be the start of a breakout season for the young righty.
On the offense side, it’s been the new guys, Bryce Harper and Jean Segura, who have been leading the team in average. And funnily enough, Harper has had particular success against the Nationals. But, while we could talk about Harper forever, we can’t end this preview without talking about Ryan Hoskins. The first baseman has been absolutely mashing the ball of late. He comes into Wednesday night’s matchup batting .324 with 5 homers and 15 RBIs. And Maikel Franco has added another 4 homeruns and 11 RBIs on top of that.
The Phillies pitching as a whole hasn’t been great but hopefully, they can turn that around tomorrow.
Nationals vs Phillies Betting Odds:
Who’s going to win this one? I’d have to go with the Phillies. Despite their loss yesterday, the teams overall offensive performance has been much more promising than that of the Nationals, not to mention the pitching woes Washington currently faces. Moneyline currently has the Phils at -157 and the Nationals at +147. The current predicted score has Philadelphia winning 6.3 to 5.9.
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