Sandy Alcantara (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Bryce Harper made waves last year when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for $330 million. It didn’t take long for the Washington Nationals to figure out how to win without Harper on their team. The Nationals didn’t want to bend to Harper’s asking price, and watched him walk to Philadelphia to play with the Phillies.
It worked out pretty well for the Nationals, while the Phillies might have had a small bit of buyer’s remorse? Only a year into his deal, let’s give Harper some more time to get his stroke going. Harper hit .260 with 35 home runs, which is fine if he wasn’t playing on a $330 million deal.
The guy for Harper is cutting back on the strikeouts. He has to stop trying to swing for the fences every at-bat and getting back to basics. Make contact and move runners over, wait for a pitch to kill instead of swinging wildly at bad pitches. If Harper can start doing that, then his batting average will undoubtedly rise.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, but the extra time off may have helped him more than anyone else. I suspect Harper is going to have plenty of motivation after the season that his former team had. Watching the Nationals win the World Series had to be a motivating factor for him.
There were a lot of expectations for the Phillies in 2019, though they fell flat with a record of 81-81 and fourth in the NL East. Even in this shortened season, if the Phillies don’t get things going in 2020, there will be a lot of frustrated Phillies’ fans. The Marlins were the only team in the division with a record worse than the Phillies. Derek Jeter’s outfit went 57-105 last season.
The Marlins have some work left to be done before they turn into contenders. In a shortened year, maybe they can get hot at the right time, though. They will give the ball to Sandy Alcantara, while the Phillies will counter with Aaron Nola on Opening Day. Head below for our free Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies pick for July 24, 2020 in MLB.
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction:
Sandy Alcantara steps into the 2020 season looking to build on plenty of promise from 2017 and 2018. In three seasons in the majors, Alcantara has posted an ERA of 4.32, 3.44, and 3.88. Alcantara has been steady and consistent for the Marlins. He’s a borderline ace at this point, with the potential to become more.
Alcantara will have to be careful with Bryce Harper tonight. He’s a pitcher that Harper has enjoyed plenty of success against in the past. Harper is hitting .500 in 12 at-bats with 2 RBI’s. The bad news for the Phillies is that in a total of 69 at-bats, there isn’t a Phillie that has connected for a long ball against Alcantara.
That doesn’t sound like good news for the Phillies, but it’s better than Aaron Nola vs Miami hitters. There isn’t a Marlin that has connected against Nola either. In 96 at-bats, the Marlins are hitting .207 with a .223 OBP and no home runs. The Nationals are hitting .240 with a .321 OBP against Alcantara. That’s nothing to get excited about, but much better than the Marlins vs Nola.
The Phillies employ the bigger bats in their lineup for this one. While I believe the Phillies aren’t going to go wild on Alcantara, I certainly trust them a bit more than the Marlins against Nola in Philadelphia. Getting plus-money on the Phillies to win by 2 or more runs looks like a solid deal on Friday night.