Phillies vs Nationals: Betting preview & prediction for Tuesday

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Philadelphia Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs, left, celebrates with relief pitcher Andrew Bellatti after they defeated the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Sunday, June 26, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

Fresh off of a big win over the Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies will host the struggling Washington Nationals in a three-game series starting on Tuesday.

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Sunday Night Fever

The Phillies have been decimated by injury over the past week or so. Ranger Suarez and Zach Eflin have both hit the injured list, leaving Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler to hold the fort while Kyle Gibson struggled to find his form. However, Sunday’s win was a sign of true resilience.

Wheeler pitched his heart out under the Sunday night lights, going seven innings without allowing a run and giving the bullpen as much of an advantage as he could. Most impressively, he held Nolan Arenado to just a single.

Sure, the win meant that the Phils won the series, but the real key here is that they are now only 1.5 games behind the Cardinals in the wildcard race, and know full well that they can get past St. Louis even if the odds are stacked against them.

The Nats are lacking bats

If there is ever a place to be lacking bullpen depth, this is it. There is a good chance that Juan Soto will miss Tuesday’s game at the very least. A recent report from the Washington Post cites that Soto is feeling good after an MRI, but he missed Monday’s game and it’s not the first time he’s been forced to miss time this season, having sat out as recently as June 13th following a knee contusion.

While everyone obviously wants to see Soto back to his best, the Phillies will be grateful they won’t have to face a man who in his last nine is hitting 9-26 with a .346 batting average. He leads the entire league in walks (67) and against this bullpen, there’s a huge chance that Soto would strike on more than one occasion.

Still, the Phillies have to be wary of Josh Bell, who going into July 4th had an average of .319, with 47 RBI and 12 homers.

The issue with the Nats isn’t their ability to hit, they rank inside the top-5 of all MLB in that category. But it’s astounding that they can be so good at making contact with the ball and so poor at bringing runners home, ranking 23rd in runs scored.

Pitching matchup

Paolo Espino ( 0-1, 2.80 ERA) vs Christopher Sanchez (0-1, 4.60 ERA)

This pitching matchup probably says all you need to know about how we’re betting this. Christopher Sanchez will be forced to make his second start of the year, but does so against a 35-year-old who has been a reliable relief righty. Sanchez has allowed 8 runs through 15.2 innings this season, while Espino has allowed 14 through 45 innings.

Betting preview

Despite what the line may suggest, betting the over here may prove to be the more profitable play given the instability of the Phils bullpen, the explosiveness of their offense, and the Nats’ profound ability to get on base and not follow through. They’ll have an easier time on Tuesday evening and this could lead to a high-scoring outing.

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AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan

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