Preview: Phillies look to complete the sweep against Nationals

Aaron nola
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 24: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of the game between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies on July 24, 2020 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies are preparing to face the Washington Nationals for the third time in as many days with hopes of closing out the series in sweeping fashion. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the contest.

Bryce Harper catches fire

Bryce Harper: leads the Phillies in runs scored with 61, stolen bases (12), on-base percentage (.411), and slugging percentage (.557). His recent run of hot form hit new highs against his former team, leading him to poetically blow them a kiss as he lifted the Phillies to the first of two wins this series.

Harper scored 2 runs on 3 hits last night, ensuring that his streak five games with at least one registered hit continued. There’s no doubting that the six-time all-star is finding his stride at the right time and beginning to look like the superstar that the Phillies originally paid for. To look so dominant against his former team only puts further icing on the cake.

The Bats are red-hot

It’s not just Harper, either. Rhys Hoskins had his early-season struggles, but had an RBI double in the third before homering in the fifth. He leads the Phillies in home runs and RBI’s and once again, the top of the order is looking absolutely lethal.

J.T Realmuto is tucked underneath Hoskins and Harper and has delivered a pair of runs and 4 hits on 8 at-bats against the Nationals.

Alec Bohm has been another consistent threat. He was riding a six-game hitting streak until yesterday and if he can re-ignite that flame one more time, then the Phillies could well be set for another field day against the Nats.

The Phillies have posted six home runs over the past two contests, with two coming in Wednesday’s come-from-behind win. Last night also saw the team reach a total of 36 runs scored across their last four matchups.

With the offense looking this explosive, it certainly makes life easier for a refreshed bullpen.

Pitching matchups

Aaron Nola will take the mound tonight against Joe Ross, who is 5-9 on the season and sports a 4.00 ERA. That number has dropped to 2.93 over his last six games, however the Phillies shouldn’t be alarmed.

They faced him on July 26th and he allowed 3 hits in 5 innings, although they were held scoreless. He allowed 4 runs in 6 innings when they played in June. With the Phils looking this spicy on offense, it’s hard to see Ross being able to weather the storm for long.

As for #27, he gas a 4.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 over 21 starts. He had a couple of strong games most recently, with only 3 earned runs on 7 hits over a combined 14 innings pitched. This was a much needed uptick in form after he went through what could only be described as a bit of a mid-season slump.

Betting preview

The Phillies go into this matchup as -160 favorites. The spread is -1.5 (+100) and the over/under is 8.5 (O: -1115 U: -107). You can find the latest MLB promos over at SportsBettingDime here, including new bonus offers for fans based in PA from all the major sportsbooks from Draftkings, FoxBet and more!

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire