The race for a red October has not started as many originally hoped. The Phillies have lost four games in a row and now have to handle a series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto dropped a disappointing game to the Orioles on Sunday, while the Phils were swept by the Braves. The Jays now sit one game clear of the Tampa Bay Rays and like Philadelphia, are in the midst of a wildcard race. Both teams need to win this series, and it could go some way dictating how the rest of the regular season will look.
The Blue Jays got the best of the Phillies when the two teams clashed back in July. Stripling got the best of Zach Wheeler in the final matchup and will now face Kyle Gibson instead.
Game 1: Kyle Gibson (10-6, 4.45 ERA) vs Ross Stripling (8-4, 2.94 ERA)
Out of the pair of games these teams will play, this is the game the Phillies have to win. While Ross Stripling is a great pitcher in his own right, he is not as dominant as the guy who will pitch game two of the series for Toronto
Stripling doesn’t allow many home runs, giving up just 11 on the season. Waiting for one swing to change the game is not the approach the Phillies should take here.
Kyle Gibson looked fantastic against the Miami Marlins in his last start. But looking fanastic against the Blue Jays will require an even bigger game. Kyle has shown that he has what it takes this season and has stepped up in big moments for the team. The Phils will need all of that and then some tonight.
The Phillies are slight underdogs going into tonight’s match and for good reason. Stripling hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a single game since May and the Toronto bats have been heating up as of late. However, the Phillies are at home and the atmosphere should be a factor. I think the Phils should be able to keep this close.
The Phillies are 16-12 when Kyle Gibson starts and 22-11 against teams that win more than 54% of their games, which is astonishing when you think about it. There is definitely some value on the Phils tonight and I’ll be backing them to come through win a surprise win, righting the ship.
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Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire