The Battle of Pennsylvania carries on tonight as the Philadelphia Phillies look to take game two of their four-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Last time out
Despite gaining an 8-0 lead over the Pirates going into the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies almost botched last night’s performance in a heart-stomping 8-7 final decision.
Offense was the name of the game last night for the Phillies as they amassed 15 hits overall. Leading the way with three hits was (checks notes) Nick Castellanos, while Kyle Schwarber ripped his 32nd home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the top of the sixth. Darick Hall also legged out a rare triple, earning two RBI overall.
Zack Wheeler pitched another strong outing, going seven innings while allowing two runs off of three hits, striking out eight in the process. So how did the Pirates score their five additional runs?
Well, Jeurys Familia came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth with an 8-2 lead. Four hits, one walk, and five runs later, Seranthony Dominguez entered to earn his sixth save of the season in what should have been an easy ninth inning.
Bailey Falter (0-3, 5.18 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (3-5, 3.70 ERA)
Bailey Falter has been mediocre at best on the season for the Phillies, filling the gaps in the rotation and making spot starts whenever the Phillies don’t have a starting pitcher to throw. The 25-year old has yet to pitch more than 5.0 innings in a start on his career with opponents hitting a ripe .292 batting average off him this season. The one thing Falter has going for him is that this will be his first career start against the Pirates, though it’s uncertain how much that element of surprise will factor in.
Jose Quintana is in his 11th season in the Major Leagues and has proven this year mot be just as good as he was in 2012 when he debuted for the Chicago White Sox. A consistent presence on the mound, he owns a 3.70 ERA on the season and most recently pitched seven shutout innings against the Miami Marlins on July 23rd. He had struggled in his previous two starts, however, against the Colorado
Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, combining to throw 9.1 innings while allowing 10 earned runs.
Quintana has been a popular name over the past several days in trade deadline discussion, with this being his final start before the Trade Deadline next Tuesday.
Phillies Daily Fantasy Pick
For the daily fantasy enthusiasts, there is one bat that you simply must include in your lineup today: Alec Bohm. Bohm has had a sublime July for the Phillies, batting .436 with a 1.076 OPS. Thursday saw Bohm moving up in the order to the three-hole and he produced, going 2-for-5 on the night with one run scored and one RBI. Expect Bohmer to look to continue his 13-game hitting streak tonight, especially with his .343 season average against left-handers like Quintana.
Oh, and Bohm is a cheap option as well among third basemen, coming in a $2,700 on FanDuel.
The Phillies are currently the favorite tonight at -125 while the over/under is sitting at 8.5. Given Falter’s track record, the momentum the Pirates’ bats have after the Familia blow-up last night, and how hot the Phillies’ bats have been, I would certainly bet the over on the night.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson