Nationals vs Phillies Picks, Prediction, Odds | MLB Picks for Wednesday, August 9
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Alec Bohm
Nationals vs. Phillies Odds
-106 / -114
-106 / -114
After a rainout on Monday, the Nationals and Phillies split a doubleheader yesterday. The Phillies took game one 8-4 while the Nationals won the nightcap 5-4.
With both teams playing well entering the series, perhaps a split should not have been a surprise. The Nationals have won seven of their last 10 games, including a sweep of the Reds over the weekend, while the Phillies have won six of their last 10 games.
For tonight's game, the oddsmakers favor the Phillies (-180 on the moneyline) with the total at nine. Left-hander MacKenzie Gore will start for the Nationals and Michael Lorenzen will get the ball for the Phillies.
Offensively, the Nationals will not wow anyone as they are 19th in the Majors Leagues in runs scored and 28th in Hard Hit Percentage. However, they are a frustrating team to play against.
The Nationals are 29th in Strikeout Percentage. Several Nationals are striking out below the league average (22.1%) Strikeout Rate, but none are more impressive than catcher Keibert Ruiz. The 25-year-old backstop has a 9.5% Strikeout Rate, which ranks in the 99th percentile and he is also in the 97th percentile in Whiff Rate.
Additionally, although the Nationals do not hit the ball hard consistently, they rank sixth in team batting average. Among qualified hitters, outfielder Lane Thomas leads the team with a .287 batting average and he has a recorded a hit in four of his last five games. Shortstop C.J. Abrams has joined Thomas at the top of the Nationals lineup of late.
Since July 1st, Abrams is hitting .320 with four home runs, 11 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases. He has a hit in seven of his last 10 games and the Nationals are averaging 5.8 runs per game in that span. They may need a boost from their offense to win the game tonight.
Nationals starter MacKenzie Gore is beginning to show why he was so highly touted as a prospect. He has 129 strikeouts in 112 innings and ranks in the 74th percentile in Strikeout Rate. However, he has still been inconsistent with his command and issued 49 walks as well.
Gore ranks in the 30th percentile or worse in Walk Rate, Average Exit Velocity, and Hard Hit Percentage. He has allowed 18 home runs against this season, two of which were against the Phillies. Gore is 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA and .385 opposing batting average in two starts the Phillies this season.
As far as team debuts go, they do not get much more impressive than Michael Lorenzen's first start with the Phillies. Against the Marlins last Thursday, he allowed just six hits and two earned runs while striking out five in eight innings. Over his last five starts (four with the Tigers), Lorenzen is 3-1 with a 1.42 ERA.
Lorenzen will be making his first start at Citizens Bank Park and just his third career start against the Nationals. He has a 5.87 ERA against the Nationals, but he has just four combined plate appearances (against Lane Thomas and Keibert Ruiz) against this Nationals lineup. The unfamiliarity may give him an edge his first time through the lineup.
That may allow his offense to gain an early lead on Gore. As mentioned, the Phillies have hit Gore well this season, led by first baseman Alec Bohm. The 27-year-old is 3-for-6 with a home run and three runs batted in against Gore. Bohm homered in game one yesterday and has already matched his career-high of 72 runs batted in.
Third baseman Nick Castellanos is 3-for-9 against Gore while catcher J.T. Realmuto is 3-for-9 with a home run against him. Shortstop Trea Turner is 3-for-6 with two runs batted in against Gore. Fellow former Nationals, Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, have not enjoyed as much success against Gore, which is not surprising as left-handed hitters. However, they both enjoy facing their former team.
In 64 games, Harper is hitting .306 with 13 home runs and 34 runs batted in against Washington. Schwarber is hitting .305 with 18 home runs and 37 runs batted in against the Nationals in 42 career games. The average is particularly noticeable for him, given that he is a .226 hitter for his career.
Harper and Schwarber each homered yesterday, with Schwarber hitting two home runs in game one.
Nationals vs. Phillies Betting Pick
The Nationals have won four of their last five games on the road, but the Phillies are 31-22 at home this season. They also have the better starting pitcher in this matchup. Lorenzen will likely generate loads of groundballs, which should work just fine against a Nationals lineup that ranks fourth in the league in groundball percentage.
The Phillies, on the other hand, will likely hit many flyballs, some of which may leave the yard. Yesterday, the Phillies scored 10 of their 12 runs in the two games on home runs. There's a good chance that the Phillies hit a few against Gore and the Nationals bullpen, however, I am going a bit simpler here.
Alec Bohm has recorded a hit in eight of his last nine and 13 of his last 15 games. I expect that trend to continue, and I also expect the Phillies to win tonight. Combining Bohm to record a hit with Phillies moneyline gets us -110 on DraftKings in the same-game parlay department. If Bohm gets the hit out of the way early on, we will just need the Phillies to win the game.