Today’s play of the day is a battle between two NL East foes. One team is on its way to the playoffs, while the other’s season looks to be all but over in the next eight games. The home team is the superior team and has the stronger starting pitcher in tonight’s contest. The visiting team is sending arguably their hottest pitcher over the last month to the mound. However, as a team, they have struggled on the road this season, and have a poor head-to-head record against the home team. The pitchers involved provide enough uncertainty that there appears to be legitimate value on both sides of this contest. Let’s dig in to see which team holds the true edge.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
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The Philadelphia Phillies are set to do battle with the Washington Nationals in an evening affair. The Philadelphia Phillies have a solid 79-75 record, but they find themselves six games out of the last wild-card spot in the National League. Philadelphia has played poorly on the road this season, where they hold a 36-40 record. The Phillies pitching staff has done them in this season, as they are one of only two teams in all of baseball with a negative run differential despite a winning record. They have lost five of their last eight games. Philadelphia has lost nine of their 14 contests against Washington this season.
Washington overcame a painfully slow start to the season to hold the pole position in the National League wild-card race. They have a six-game lead and are set to begin a five-game set against one of the teams giving them chase. Washington has a rock-solid 85-69 record on the season. They have been strong at home, where they hold a 42-31 record. Washington has won three of their last five contests.
The Philadelphia Phillies will be sending the talented-but-inconsistent Zach Eflin to the mound. Washington will be countering with the talented Patrick Corbin. Eflin has shown flashes this season and is in the midst of a terrific September. Through four starts he holds an outstanding 1.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. However, he has had more disappointing months than impressive ones. On the season as a whole, Eflin is 9-12 through 30 appearances, 26 of which were starts. Due to his excellent form in September, the Phillies have won three of his last five. However, they have lost 12 of his last 15 appearances and eight of his previous 11 starts. He has actually been slightly better on the road this season, where he holds a 3.96 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Eflin has allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of his 28 starts. He has relinquished six or more runs five times this season.
Patrick Corbin has been as strong as expected in 2019. He has an impressive 13-7 record with a 3.10 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He has been elite at home this season, where he has a 7-2 record, a 2.00 ERA, and 0.93 WHIP. Corbin has faced the Phillies three times this season and has a 1-0 record. He holds a 3.31 ERA and 1.26 WHIP against Philadelphia. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 26 of his 31 starts. Washington has won five of his last seven starts.
Edge: Washington Nationals
There are some interesting trends for this contest.
- They have lost four of their last five series openers.
- They have lost five of their last seven contests against left-handed starting pitchers.
- They have won five of their last seven contests following a team win.
- They have won three of their last five contests.
- They have won five of their last six contests following a team win.
- They have won five of their last seven Monday contests.
- They have won 46 of their last 66 home contests against teams with winning records.
- They have lost five of their last six series openers.
- Philadelphia has lost nine of his last 13 series openers.
- Philadelphia has lost eight of his last 11 starts.
- Philadelphia has lost 16 of his last 21 road starts.
- Philadelphia has lost five of his last six Monday starts.
- Philadelphia has lost 13 of his last 16 starts against teams with winning records.
- Philadelphia has lost six of his last seven road contests against teams with winning records.
- Washington has won nine of his last 10 home starts.
- Washington has won four of his last five series openers.
- Washington has won eight of his last 11 starts against teams with a winning record.
- Washington has won seven of his last 10 against the NL East.
- Washington has won five of his last seven starts.
Edge: Washington Nationals
The line for this contest has already seen some major movement. It opened at -170 on Washington, and it has already jumped to -195, and -200 at PointsBet. The early money suggests that there was heavy opening value on the Nationals. The Nationals are the superior team in this contest. This is especially the case when the Phillies are playing on the road, or playing Washington in general. Philadelphia has lost five of their last six contests against Washington. They have lost four straight at Nationals Park. That said, Zach Eflin has been hot enough in September to turn this contest into a pitching duel. He has been brilliant against Washington this season holding them to a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through three starts. He has struck out 21 batters in 18.1 innings of work against the Nationals. While Eflin’s presence ensures that there is value on both sides of this contest, it is Washington who is the lean. They have trends and form behind them, and are playing a team already making their October vacation plans. Roll with Washington as a one-unit play.