Monday, July 8, 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Money Line: Washington (-115) Philadelphia (+105)
Total Line: 9
Washington is making a move in the NL East with a 7-3 record in its last 10 games that has closed the gap with Atlanta for the lead to just four games. Last week in a seven-game home stand, the Nationals split a four-game series with Milwaukee before sweeping San Diego over the weekend in a three-game set. The total has gone OVER in their last four games after hammering-out a combined 32 runs during that span.
Overall, Washington is now 46-42 on the year but still below .500 on the road at 19-24. Despite this recent burst of offense, the Nationals are still ranked 13th in the National League in scoring with an average of 3.8 runs a game. Their pitching staff is ranked fifth in the NL with a 3.61 team ERA. Washington will send Dan Haren to the mound as its starter for Game 1 of this extended four-game series. The right-hander is returning from a stint on the DL for a sore right shoulder. He is 4-9 this season with an ERA of 6.15.
The Phillies have won their last two series after taking two of three from Pittsburgh on the road last week and Atlanta at home over the weekend. They are 43-46 overall and 7.5 games in back of the Braves in the division race. Philadelphia is now over .500 at home with a record of 21-19. The total has gone OVER in its last five games after posting a combined 27 runs in those contests.
This is another team that has struggled at the plate this season with a team batting average of .258 and an average of 3.9 runs a game. Philadelphia’s overall pitching has been sketchy as well with a 4.21 team ERA. It will go with John Lannan as its starter for Monday night. The left-hander was tagged with four runs on 11 hits over just five innings in last Wednesday’s loss to Pittsburgh. The former Washington hurler is now 1-3 on the year with a 5.15 ERA heading into this matchup against his old team.
Free MLB Pick
Both teams come into this division showdown in better form than what we have seen from them for most of the season. With suspect arms on the mound for both sides, look for the high scoring trend to continue. This sets up a potential play on the OVER for this game, but the free MLB pick in this one as far as a side is with the Nationals.
Washington 6 Philadelphia 4
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.