The Washington Nationals were sellers ahead of last week’s MLB Trade Deadline and have waived the white flag on the season, while the Philadelphia Phillies still are in the mix to win the NL East Division. The teams meet to open a series in D.C. in an ESPN nationally televised game Monday.
How to Bet Phillies at Nationals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Monday, 7 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Ranger Suarez/Josiah Gray
- TV: ESPN
- Stream/gameday audio: ESPN app
- Opening MLB Lines: Phillies -105, Nationals -105 (total 9)
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
Will Andrew McCutchen be available for the Phils? The outfielder was removed from Saturday’s game with a knee injury and didn’t play Sunday. He is one of three big-league players to have at least 9 20-HR seasons since 2011, joining Nelson Cruz (10) and Kyle Seager (9).
McCutchen is slashing .276/.396/.586 with 8 2B, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 33 R, 30 BB in his last 48 games (since 6/1). He has 11 homers that have either tied the game or given the Phillies the lead. That’s most on the team. He is the fourth active player in MLB with at least 1,000 runs scored, 250 home runs, 900 RBI and 900 walks, joining Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Joey Votto.
Also monitor the status of first baseman Rhys Hoskins. He sat Sunday with a groin injury. It still seems like he will avoid the injured list, but that could change if there is not improvement. Of his last 31 hits, 24 have gone for extra bases (13 2B, 11 HR). He has a .986 OPS since June 16 and his 15 HRs on the road rank 6th in MLB (5 players are tied with 16). Since 2020, the Phillies are 23-7 (.767) when he homers.
It’s Ranger Suarez (5-3) on the mound. Suarez is taking the place of Matt Moore in the rotation after previously serving in relief — and as the closer — for Philadelphia. The 25-year-old southpaw will throw three innings on Monday, and the Phillies will build him up from there.
“We’ve always envisioned Ranger as a starter,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We brought some guys in to start this year. There’s been some struggles. Ranger’s done a really good job in whatever role we’ve put him in. It’s not going to happen right away but we need more distance and consistency out of our rotation spots and that’s why we put him there.”
Suárez had a 1.12 ERA this season in 27 relief appearances and was moved in July to the closer role. But the ninth-inning now belongs to newly acquired Ian Kennedy. He thrived in the bullpen behind a sinker that induced weak contact and threw 64% of his pitches for strikes.
“Ranger’s not a power guy. He’s a command guy,” Girardi said. “So the important thing is that his command holds up. And I think it will.”
Why Bet on Washington?The Nationals traded two of their best players before Friday’s Trade Deadline in three-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trae Turner – the team is going into mini-rebuild mode. Scherzer probably was leaving after this season as a free agent but Turner was under team control through next season.
With Turner off the books financially, the Nats can turn to Carter Kieboom at shortstop and build a younger lineup around star Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Kieboom and catcher Keibert Ruiz. He and pitcher Josiah Gray were the two big pieces back from the Dodgers in the Scherzer/Turner deal.
Gray will get the start here. The 23-year-old righty flashed impressive stuff, allowing six runs on seven hits with a 13/5 K/BB ratio across eight innings of work with the Dodgers. A shortstop who converted to pitcher at Division II college Le Moyne, Gray throws a fastball that sits around 93-96 mph and touches 98. His best breaking ball is his slider, though he also mixes in some curveballs and the occasional changeup.
Gray went 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 22 strikeouts against just two walks in four games (three starts) for Triple-A Oklahoma City before being called up. He made his Major League debut on July 20 vs. San Francisco.
“Everything I’ve heard about him, he’s a great kid,” manager Dave Martinez said of Gray, 23. “Wants to put the work in, puts the work in and he’s very competitive so, like I said, I’m looking forward to building a relationship with him and moving forward watching him compete.”
Looking to maximize the three-year window following this season before Juan Soto hits free agency, the Nats have little time to waste in letting Gray try to establish himself as a pro-ready starter. The Nationals have very few options in the upper minors, and they need to fill two rotation spots after trading Scherzer and Jon Lester.
Soto is the only player in the Majors with more walks than strikeouts on the season, leading the Majors with a 1.20 BB/SO ratio (72 BB/60 SO). He has reached base safely in 16 straight games (.528 OBP) and 41 of his last 43 games (.449 OBP). Soto is tied for third in the National League with seven home runs and tied for fourth 16 RBI since the All-Star break.
- Phillies are 5-13 in the last 18 meetings in Washington.
- Under is 21-10-3 in the last 34 meetings.
- Under is 7-2-2 in the last 11 meetings in Washington.
- Nationals are 11-5 in their last 16 vs. National League East.
- Nationals are 4-1 in their last 5 Monday games.
- Nationals 4, Phillies 3
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