Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82 ERA) takes the hill for the Philadelphia Phillies (19-26) as they square off against Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (25-18) in the last of a three-game series at Nationals Park. The Phillies won the last game 8-1 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 24 and can be seen on CSN-PHI and MASN.
Gonzalez is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 76 strikeouts against the Phillies. Harang is 4-4 with a 2.68 ERA against the Nationals in his career. He takes on a good Washington offense that's batting .258. Ryan Howard (.268, 16 Rs, 10 HRs, 23 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Phillies, going 3 for 5 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs.
This one isn't expected to be close when Washington, a big -200 favorite, takes on Philadelphia. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Nationals have recorded an overall money line of +341 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 22-12. Washington is an impressive 8-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Nationals have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 6.6 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.9 runs per game. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they lead the NL in offense with 4.9 runs per game. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.4 per game. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses that come to Nationals Park have been stifled by the Nationals, who have a team ERA of only 2.76 at home. The Nationals are the fourth-best team in the NL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.2 hits per game to their opponents this season.
As for their opponent, Philadelphia is coming in with an overall money line of -437 and a disappointing record of 16-24 as the underdog. They have played poorly as the underdog with an 8-16 record against NL East rivals, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, the Phillies have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.1 runs per game by averaging 4.1 during that stretch. Philadelphia is excellent at not striking out n the road with just 7.0 per game, ranking second in the NL. The Phillies allow 4.4 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 3.2 runs per game during that span.
The Nationals lead the season series, 5-4. The Nationals have a 19-15 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Harang takes the mound. Gonzalez (LHP) will be on the hill against the Phillies, who have a 4-4 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Under
The Phillies are struggling at 10-17 in their division, while the Nationals sit at 16-12.
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 13-7, while Philadelphia is 9-15.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Nationals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Phillies have a 6-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Phillies are 4-19. The Nationals have a 6-17 record when opponents outhit them.
Philadelphia ranks near the bottom of the league at 28th when it comes to home runs, hitting 26 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 48.
Ranking 12th, Philadelphia is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.95 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.79.
Ranking 30th, Philadelphia is at the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.652). Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with an OPS of .741.
The Phillies are 6-19 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Nationals are 7-9 when they allow at least one homer.