The Philadelphia Phillies hope to keep their postseason hopes alive when visiting the nation's capital this week to play the Washington Nationals. With seven games left in the regular season for the Phillies, Philadelphia is in third place in the National League East four games behind the first-place Braves but just one game behind the 2nd place Miami Marlins. The Phillies took three out of four over the weekend in Buffalo against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Washington has little to play for but to impress coaches and the front office as well as making life difficult for teams attempting to reach the postseason such as Philadelphia. Washington did just that on Sunday by defeating the Miami Marlins 15-0. However, Washington is in last place in the NL East and was riding a three-game losing streak before it's slugfest 15-run victory over the Marlins.
Batting order continues to Pace the PhilliesThanks to a solid lineup at the plate, Philadelphia is amidst a battle to qualify for the postseason. Bryce Harper continues to supply the power at the plate for Philadelphia with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs and shortstop Didi Gregorius has a team-high .289 batting average and is leading in RBIs with 35. Philadelphia is 5th in runs scored with 278 thanks to the 8th best team batting average of .257 and the 9th best slugging percentage at .444.
Things could be better on the mound for the Phillies. As a team, Philadelphia is just 25th in ERA at 5.14 and 28th in WHIP at 1.49. Phillies pitching is allowing opposing hitters to average .282 at the plate which is the worst in all of baseball. The starting rotation has performed well and has the 8th best Quality Starts at 18. Tuesday, the Phillies will hand the ball to Aaron Nola, who is 5-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 84 strikeouts. Nola is leading the Phillies in wins and strikeouts.
Washington looks to be the spoilerAfter winning the World Series last season, Washington will not even reach the postseason this year. The Nationals are mired in last place in the NL East a distant 10 ½ games behind first-place, but can play a big part in who reaches the postseason as the Nationals finish their regular season with four games against the Phillies and four games against the New York Mets. Juan Soto is leading Washington in batting average at .353 and in home runs with 11, while shortstop Trea Turner has a team-high 32 RBIs.
On the mound, the Nationals have had problems all season. Max Scherzer leads all pitchers for Washington in wins with four and has the most strikeouts at 85. However, Washington's team ERA of 5.15 is 26th in baseball and it's 1.52 WHIP is even worse at 29th. Opposing hitters are averaging .271 at the plate against Washington pitching which is 27th in baseball. Austin Voth gets the nod on Tuesday to pitch for Washington and the right-hander is 0-5 with a 7.17 ERA. The Nationals have lost four of Voth’s last 5 starts.
- Washington has lost 16 of the last 23 as an underdog
- The Nationals have lost 20 of the last 28 against a team from the National League East
- Philadelphia has won six of the last eight as the favorite on the road
- The Phillies have won 12 of the last 16 overall as the favorite