The Philadelphia Phillies hit an embarrassing low on Saturday night following a bad loss Friday against the Braves. Philadelphia were bashed by a score of 9-2 in a losing effort Friday evening, and by the 5th inning last night, they were already down by a score of 14-1. The Phillies were able to put a dent in the lead, but the hole was already buried at that point.
The Phillies may have swept the Tigers and won two of three against the Pirates recently, but they’re finding out this weekend that the Braves are not the Tigers or Pirates. Atlanta are pulling ahead in the NL East and leaving the Phillies way behind. The Nationals have developed as the No. 2 threat in the division, but this looks like the Braves to lose. With the loss last night, the Phillies fell to 54-50 on the year.
That’s what spending $330 million on one player gets you these days. In the $400+ million club in the American League, Mike Trout and the Angels are sitting outside of the postseason as well. Trout can only do so much for the Angels, but Bryce Harper has been a bust this soon into his contract.
He’s in Philadelphia for a long time, so there’s a lot of time to get it together. However, we’ve seen this kind of overrated player before he even signed the contract. I’m not sure what the Phillies were expecting differently. He must get his bat going in August for the Phillies to catch a wildcard.
Don’t hold your breath, though, but Aaron Nola might be able to avoid a sweep for the Phillies on Sunday. Nola has been one of the few reliable options in the Philadelphia starting rotation. The Braves will go with Kevin Gausman, who recently returned, to attempt to go for the sweep on the road. Head below for our free Braves vs. Phillies pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Kevin Gausman said that he re-evaluated his mechanics during a rehab stint and the results were positive in his first start back to the majors. Gausman was sat down following a rough outing against the Pirates on June 10th. He had allowed a total of 25 runs in three games, so it was time to let him sort it out without any pressure. In his first game back, Gausman was strong with 5 hits and 1-run allowed in 7 innings against the Nationals in Atlanta. However, Gausman hasn’t done well on the road at all this year.
He enters with a 6.35 ERA and 1.69 WHIP on the road in 2019. Against the Phillies, he’s had a tough history, as they’re hitting .325 with a .409 OBP in 80 at-bats. After getting behind 14-1 last night, the Phillies woke up and tried to avoid further embarrassment.
Philadelphia scored 6 unanswered runs to at least make it a more respectable final score. The Phillies need wins, though, and that effort definitely wasn’t good enough. Zach Eflin will take the blame for that loss, having allowed 7 hits and 10 runs in 2.2 innings. Eflin has been way off this season and a serious liability in the rotation.
Again, Nola has been one of the few reliable pitchers. Even Jake Arrieta hasn’t been the guy that the Phillies have been looking for this season. Nola enters Sunday with an ERA of 3.64 and 1.29 WHIP. He sports a solid record of 8-2 as well. The Braves are hitting .223 in 215 at-bats against Nola in his career.
Nola has been at his best in Philadelphia, with a 3.03 ERA in 77.1 innings at home. He’s been hot recently, with 1 or no runs allowed in six of his last seven outings. In the one outlier, Nola had a tough matchup against the Dodgers’ offense. I expect the Phillies to have some pride and show up with a much better performance Sunday. Consider backing Nola in this spot to avoid a sweep for the Phillies.