Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75 ERA) and Sean O'Sullivan (1-2, 3.68 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (24-17) and the Philadelphia Phillies (18-25) at Nationals Park. The Nationals come into this series hoping to extend a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 22 and can be seen on NBC-10 and MASN.
Scherzer pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs, striking out 11 and walking two in a 4-1 win over the Padres. Denard Span (.333, 19 Rs, 3 HRs, 13 RBIs, 3 SBs) had another good game Wednesday, going 2 for 4 with one RBI. O'Sullivan is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Nationals in his career. He takes on a quality Washington offense that's batting .261. Freddy Galvis (.319, 18 Rs, 1 HR, 11 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run and one stolen base.
This one isn't expected to be close when Washington, a big -260 favorite, takes on Philadelphia. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs for this matchup. The Nationals have recorded an overall money line of +241 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 21-12. 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 6.9 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 5.0 runs per game. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they lead the NL in offense with 5.0 runs per game. The Nationals are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits with a phenomenal 8.8 per game. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.5 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses that come to Nationals Park have been stifled by the Nationals, who have a team ERA of only 2.85 at home. The Nationals are the fifth-best team in the NL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.3 hits per game to their opponents this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Philadelphia has a 16-22 record and an overall money line of -237. They have played poorly as the underdog with an 8-15 record against teams in their division, 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 3.2 runs per game by averaging 4.2 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 Nationals lead the season series, 4-3. The Nationals have an 18-15 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when O'Sullivan takes the mound. Scherzer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Phillies, who have a 14-21 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
The Phillies currently sit below .500 against the NL East Division at 9-16, and the Nationals have a 15-11 record.
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 13-7, while Philadelphia is 9-15.
The Nationals are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded nine strikeouts. The Phillies have a record of 1-6 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Phillies are 4-19. The Nationals have a 6-16 record when opponents outhit them.
Philadelphia ranks at the bottom of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting 24 this season. Washington ranks in the top five at fifth with 47.
Ranking 12th, Philadelphia is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.02 per game. Washington ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.85.
Ranking 29th, Philadelphia is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.652). Washington ranks in the top five at fourth with an OPS of .751.
The Phillies are 6-18 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Nationals are 7-8 when they allow at least one homer.