Stephen Nover Free Saturday Play
0 Reply | 49 ViewsOn 08/10/2013 07:28 AM in Cappers
Money Line: -101 Philadelphia
The market acted early on this game turning the Nationals - who opened an underdog - to making them pick, or even a favorite at some books.
Perhaps this very early money is a reaction to Washington whipping Philadelphia, 9-2, on Friday. That was against former teammate soft-tossing John Lannan.
Now the Nationals get another lefty, Cliff Lee. The Phillies are 3-15 in their last 18 games. Lee has lost his last three starts. I acknowledge these facts. But I will get involved now that you can take a 'dog price on Lee.
The Phillies have won six of the last seven times Lee has been an underdog. You also would have to go back to 2007 to find the last time Lee dropped four straight starts.
Lee should not be an underdog, especially facing rookie Taylor Jordan, who has a 3.76 ERA and is going through growing pains. This is the Phillies' second look now at Jordan having faced him a month ago when they scored four runs off him in 5 2/3 innings during a 4-2 victory.
It is a huge mistake to get excited about the Nationals following one of their rare offensive outbursts. The Nationals are 4-9 the last 13 times they've been home favorites. They are 0-7 the last seven times after scoring five or more runs in their previous game.
One nine-run performance doesn't make up for four months of poor play. The Nationals, to put it bluntly, are as dead as Jimmy Hoffa. They are 15 1/2 games out of the NL East lead and nine games behind the Reds for the second wild-card spot. Davey Johnson is a lame duck manager.
The Nationals are going to have problems with Lee and it's not just the due factor kicking in for Lee. Washington entered this series ranking last in batting average against southpaws hitting .215. They also have the lowest OPS (.643) versus southpaws. Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Denard Span were a combined 6-for-70 (.085) batting before Friday's game.
Lee can certainly tame the Nationals while the Phillies' offense can awaken against Jordan especially with Domonic Brown back in the lineup.
(Editor's note: Stephen Nover has his Run Line Game of the Year going today.)
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