The Philadelphia Phillies are back on the road following a humiliating 11-3 defeat to the Miami Marlins. The good news is that the Rockies are not a bogey team for the Phils. The bad news is that they’re 6-3. Here is all you need to know:
Aaron Nola will take the mound for the Phillies tonight and has split both of his starts this season. Interestingly, he has a 4-0 record against Colorado with an ERA of 5.35 and 52 strikeouts in 6 games. He seems to allow a lot of hits early on, but the damage is limited. Something tells me that this Rockies offense may change that.
Chad Kuhl will be trying to keep the Phillies quiet. He’s 1-0 on the season after a solid game against the Rangers. He went 5-7 with Pittsburgh last year, posting a 4.82 ERA. He’s beatable for this Phillies offense if it can get firing.
The good and bad
Good news! Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwaber have started heating up at just the right time, just as they come into an environment where the pitching matchup could be tricky.. Harper is 1-8 with a homer and 3 RBI vs Kuhl for his career, while Schwaber is 3-17. New kid on the block, Nick Castellanos will be hoping to provide a drive into deep left field. He’s 4-16 with a home run and 4 RBI’s against Kuhl.
The bad news is that the Rockies are rocking right now. Alec Kostival noted as much in this morning’s series preview:
They currently have 3 hitters all hitting over .300. Their catcher, Elias Diaz, is hitting .345, newly acquired Kris Bryant is hitting .344, and Connor Joe is hitting .361. Oh, and CJ Cron leads all of baseball with 5 home runs while hitting .297. In reality, only 2 Rockies hitters are slumping to start the season: Brendan Rodgers and Charlie Blackman.
The Phillies come into this matchup as a road favorite at -161, while the Rockies are +139. The over/under total is currently at 11 runs, which is pretty high. This is unsurprising though since the Phillies have been battered by the Marlins while the Rockies have been chewing up pitchers for fun.
However, high-scoring games have led to an overly inflated line. If the Phillies have struggled against Kuhl in the past, it could be indicative that their previously-slumping offense may once again struggle. If we partner that with the fact that Nola is a pitcher good enough to at least hold the line for the opening five innings or so, then it’s tough to see 11 runs being scored here without it being a little too close for comfort.
Pick: Run total Under 11
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire