Max Scherzer (8-5, 1.76 ERA) starts for the Washington Nationals (40-33) after throwing a no-hitter in his most recent outing. They will square off against Aaron Harang (4-9, 3.41 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (40-33) in the first of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals come into this series riding a six-game winning streak. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 26 and can be seen on MASN and CSN-PHI.
Harang is 4-5 with a 2.70 ERA in his appearances against the Nationals, but goes up against a good Washington offense which is batting .260 this season. Ryan Howard (.231, 25 Rs, 13 HRs, 36 RBIs) had another good game Wednesday, going 2 for 4 with one run. Against the Phillies, Scherzer is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts. Bryce Harper (.340, 53 Rs, 24 HRs, 58 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Nationals, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Washington is favored (-205) over Philadelphia and the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs. The Phillies have recorded an overall money line of -1,379 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 23-43. Philadelphia has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 9-20 and 10-21 as the underdog and SU respectively. The Phillies have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 4.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.3 runs per game. Philadelphia's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 7.8 runs per game, well above its season average of 5.0.
In games where it is the favorite, Washington has a 31-22 record and an overall money line of -85. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 5-1 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.4 runs per game, which is good for third in the NL. The Nationals are tough outs for opponents, ranking third in the NL with 9.1 hits per road game. Washington is excellent at drawing walks with 3.1 per game, ranking fourth in the NL. The Nationals allow 4.1 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 2.5 runs per game during that span. When it comes to issuing walks, the Nationals have the fewest in the NL with only 2.3 walks allowed per game.
The Nationals lead the season series, 6-4. The Phillies have a bad 21-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Scherzer takes the mound. Harang (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 28-29 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
The Nationals hold a 20-12 record against the NL East Division this season, while the Phillies have a 10-21 record against the division.
Philadelphia has won 33% (12-24) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 60% (21-14) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Phillies managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Nationals who are coming in with a 6-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Phillies are 8-37. The Nationals have a 7-30 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 29th in home runs, Philadelphia has hit 46 this season. Washington ranks eighth with 75 home runs.
Ranking 13th, Philadelphia is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.14 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 8.75.
Ranking 29th, Philadelphia is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.650). Washington ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .732.
The Nationals are 12-19 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Phillies are 11-33 when they allow at least one homer.