The Philadelphia Phillies may have only split their most recent series against the Atlanta Braves but they’re riding high after a thrilling win in the series finale. In a low-scoring affair, the Phillies found themselves unable to put a single run on the board until the eighth inning, but that’s all they needed.
Rhys Hoskins walked, J.T. Realmuto would eventually bring him home on a fielder’s choice, and finally, Nick Castellanos would end his 26-game home run drought with a two-run bomb that would set newly reacquired closer David Robertson to earn the save.
The Phillies now bring all that energy and excitement into a four-game series against the new-look Washington Nationals. This series should also bring the Phillies excitement as the term “new-look” refers to roster in the post-Juan Soto (and Josh Bell) era. The Nationals are expected to be weaker than ever and with four straight games at home against them, Philadelphia has a tremendous chance to create some much-needed breathing room between themselves and the St. Louis Cardinals for the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League.
Noah Syndergaard (5-8, 3.83 ERA) vs Paolo Espino (0-3, 3.78 ERA)
It’s the Phillies debut for Philadelphia’s newest starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Acquired at the trade deadline for former first overall pick Mickey Moniak and outfield prospect Jadiel Sanchez, Syndergaard will face the Washington Nationals for the first time since 2019, when he was still with the New York Mets.
Paolo Espino meanwhile returns to Citizens Bank Park for the second time in roughly one month. On July 5th of this season, Espino took the mound as the Nationals faced off against the Phillies and was knocked around early, giving up four runs in less than four innings. This included two home runs to Kyle Schwarber alone.
This game will likely feature a good bit of bullpen action as the Phillies attempt to ease in Syndergaard while the Phillies’ offense looks to go at Espino early on once again.
The Phillies are currently listed as +1.5 favorite for tonight’s game. With Jean Segura set to finally return and newly acquired center fielder Brandon Marsh potentially joining the lineup, the Phillies offense will likely take a step up this series. this is especially notable with the Nationals certain downtick in production after the Juan Soto/Josh Bell trade. Smash the spread for Philadelphia in this matchup.
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann