Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., 6:05 p.m. ET
Phillies at Nationals Betting Preview: Phillies (-136), Nationals (+120)
The Phillies (27-29) are sliding in the wrong direction at a time when they need victories to claim a National League playoff spot. Philadelphia lost both games of a doubleheader at Washington on Tuesday and have dropped four straight overall. The tailspin leaves the Phillies 1 1/2 games behind the Miami Marlins for the second NL East berth and one game out in the battle for the league’s two wild-card spots.
Philadelphia looks to salvage the finale of the four-game set before finishing the regular season with three road games against the Tampa Bay Rays. “We’ve dug ourselves a hole, and we’ve done that before and we’ve been able to fight out of it,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “Now we have to win games and rely on other (teams).”
Right-hander Zach Eflin (3-2, 4.28 ERA) aims to follow up a strong effort in which he allowed four hits and struck out nine during a seven-inning shutout, a 7-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. That marked quite a turnaround as Eflin had allowed 11 runs and 23 hits over 15 innings in his previous three starts. The 26-year-old is 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight career starts against Washington.
The Nationals (23-32) have won a season-best four straight games and have scored 33 runs during the stretch. They have 18 runs in the three straight wins over the Phillies. Nine of their 15 hits during Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep went for extra bases.
The defending World Series champions won’t be returning to the playoffs, but they seem to be enjoying the spoiler role in this series. They finished off the doubleheader sweep when 32-year-old Cuban Yadiel Hernandez slugged his first career homer, a two-run blast with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning for a walk-off 8-7 triumph. Juan Soto also went deep in the game, his first homer in September.
Washington’s Wednesday starter, right-hander Erik Fedde (2-3, 4.36 ERA), has struggled in two starts against Philadelphia this season, losing both and compiling an 8.18 ERA while serving up three homers in 11 innings. Overall, Fedde is 2-3 with a 5.57 in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Phillies. The 27-year-old was superb in his last outing when he gave up one hit over six shutout innings while beating the Marlins on Friday.
Phillies at Nationals Betting Pick for September 23, 2020
The urgency is high for the Phillies after the two setbacks on Tuesday. The club will be looking for Eflin to put forth another strong outing after the staff allowed 24 runs during the four-game skid.
Washington is playing free and loose down the stretch and would like nothing better than to finish off the sweep, but Philadelphia is due to break out of the rut.
Phillies at Nationals Betting Pick:
Phillies 7, Nationals 5
Phillies at Nationals Best Bet for September 23, 2020
Washington’s bats have been explosive lately, so expect the Nationals to score some runs. So on this night, the Phillies will need to outslug the Nationals to halt their skid.
Phillies at Nationals Best Bet: OVER 9.5 total runs (-110)
–Field Level Media