Phillies vs. Nationals Odds, Preview, Prediction: Neither Pitcher Inspires Much Confidence (Tuesday, August 31)

Phillies vs. Nationals Odds, Preview, Prediction: Neither Pitcher Inspires Much Confidence (Tuesday, August 31) article feature image
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Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper

  • The Philadelphia Phillies continue their playoff push against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
  • The game is basically a pick'em, but the two struggling pitchers have Mike Vitanza thinking about a play on the over/under.
  • He details how he's betting tonight's game below.

Phillies vs. Nationals Odds

Phillies Odds -105
Nationals Odds -115
Moneyline -105/-115
Over/Under 9.5
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings.

The Philadelphia Phillies took the first game of their road series against the Washington Nationals by the score of 7-4 on Monday night.

The Phillies were led offensively by strong performances from Bryce Harper and Brad Miller, each of whom had multi-hit games and homered in the victory. Ronald Torreyes also drove in three runs in a strong outing for the visitors.

The Nationals, meanwhile, did manage eight hits on the day, but could not come through when it mattered most, finishing 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Carter Kieboom was the lone bright spot, contributing two hits – including a home run – in the loss.

With a struggling Matt Moore on the mound, can we count on the Phillies to make it two-in-a-row against a depleted Nationals squad, or should we look to the total for value tonight?

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Philadelphia Phillies

Matt Moore will get the nod on Tuesday night for the Phillies in what will amount to his 13th start of the season so far. To-date, his 2021 campaign has not seen much success. Over 64 2/3 innings, Moore has compiled a 5.70 FIP and is allowing a substandard 1.95 HR/9. The advanced numbers aren’t any better. Per Statcast, he’s allowing an alarming 39.2% Hard Hit rate and 9.3% Barrel rate to opposing batters. His poor 4.2 BB/9 average has also only exasperated issues.

While his last three outings have been better (he’s produced a 3.77 ERA over that span), his 4.70 FIP in that same period is a strong indicator that he’s been very lucky to have kept that number as low as it is.

His matchup tonight, however, will not be quite as lucky. The Nationals have been the best team in baseball this season against left-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .348 wOBA thus far. That said, it’s worth noting that many of those at-bats came before a trade deadline that saw them deal away one of their best hitters in Trea Turner.

Washington Nationals

Patrick Corbin will take the hill for the home team in what has been a season to forget so far for the veteran southpaw. Over 136 innings, Corbin has pitched to a 5.53 FIP and has allowed opposing batters to take him deep at an average of 2.05 HR/9. His 7.27 K/9 strikeout rate is also the lowest mark he’s had since his rookie season in 2012.

Like Moore, his advanced metrics are also troubling. He’s allowing a sky-high 40.3% Hard Hit rate (per Statcast) and a 9.9% Barrel rate, both numbers that have resulted in the dreadful top-level metrics we’re seeing from him this season.

Tonight, he’ll take on a Phillies team that has also found a good deal of success against lefties this year. Over 1,562 plate appearances, they’ve collectively hit to a .326 wOBA, the sixth-best mark amongst all teams.

Phillies-Nationals Pick

While there is some value in looking towards the Nationals at home in what is essentially being billed as a pick-em, the uncertainty around Corbin and this bullpen – which has compiled a 4.62 FIP so far on the season – make that a tough sell against a Phillies team fighting for a playoff spot.

Instead, I’m looking to target the total in this one. Not only have both starting pitchers struggled mightily this season against nearly every opponent they’ve faced, but they now also must face opposing offenses that also happen to excel against left-handed pitching. Mix in a poor Nationals bullpen and you have a recipe for the over.

The total immediately jumped from 8.5 runs to 9.5 runs when odds were released, so I’ll be looking to lock this in before it hits double digits. Keep an eye on the weather report as there is currently a chance a storm could work its way in around game time, but if the forecast is clear, I’m confidently taking the over here.

Pick: Over 9.5 (+100)

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