Series Matchup of the Weekend: PHI x WAS

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Baseball Review

by: Justin Jones @jjones217

This weekends series to watch features the Philadelphia Phillies (39-33) against the Washington Nationals (40-33). The Phillies are currently in 3rd place in the NL East sitting 3.5 games back of Atlanta. The Nationals are in a similar boat being in second place and 3 games back. Both teams will be fighting it out to get closer to Atlanta.

The likely matchups for this 3 game series are; Friday Zach Eflin (4-2) vs Tanner Roark (3-7), Saturday will have Aaron Nola (8-2) vs Erick Fedde (0-2), and Sunday will likely feature Nick Pivetta (4-6) vs Jefry Rodriguez (0-0).

Philidelphia Phillies

The Phillies' offense is sub-par for what you would consider a playoff team being 25th in batting average (.233) and 20th in runs scored. The offense is led by CF Odubel Herrera who has hit .299 this season and is in a three-way tie for first on the team with 41. Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana are the other two players with 41 RBI's. As the season continues they will need to find a way to score more runs to contend for the AL East.

The pitching staff for the Phillies pitching staff is doing well with an ERA of 3.93 and are seventh in Home Runs allowed. The Phillies are led by Aaron Nola who has a 2.55 ERA. The bullpen is fifteenth in WHIP with a 1.32.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals are 20th in runs scored and 22nd in batting average. They called up Juan Soto earlier this year who has been doing great. He has helped propel the offense. They also have Bryce Harper and Matt Adams who have 45 and 36 RBIs respectively.

The pitching staff of the Nationals is 3rd in ERA with a 3.40. Max Scherzer leads this pitching staff with a third in the majors in ERA with 2.06. The Pitcher to watch in this series though is Jefry Rodriguez who in his first appearance went 4.2 innings and did not give up a run. In his following start, he gave up five earned runs in five innings. It will be interesting to see if he can return to his first appearance and stay consistent in that. The Nationals also recently traded for Royals Closer Kelvin Herrera to bolster the bullpen. They have been using him to set up for Sean Doolittle.

Keys to success

The Phillies will need to rely on their pitching staff to keep them in the game. The offense will need to do what they can to stay ahead of the pitching from the Nationals.

The Nationals pitching should be able to keep the Phillies from scoring. If they can do that they should be able to stay on top of the Phillies.

Final Thoughts

This three-game series will take place in Washington at Nationals Park. The games Friday and Saturday will be on local networks except for Sunday's which will be on ESPN. This game will have huge implications for the NL East. It should be a good one to watch. 

Let us know what you think of this series. Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments.

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