The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies meet again tonight after a 5-3 win for the Nats on Monday. It’s all window dressing for the Nationals, as they find themselves 8 games off the pace in the NL East. If the Nats weren’t underachievers and threw their season away, this would be an interesting series. However, the National League East features the Phillies and then the Braves at the top of the standings.
The Braves are currently in control with a 3.5-game lead but the Phils are within reaching distance. They couldn’t move up last night, as they fell to the Nationals by a score of 5-3. The Braves had the night off, so it was a lost opportunity for the Phillies to get a game closer.
If the Phillies can’t catch the Braves in the NL East, their next chance of getting in the postseason will be by earning a wildcard. That’s going to be tough as well, with the Brewers and Cardinals currently in possession of the final two spots. The Rockies are also ahead of the Phillies, as the last team out.
The toughest pill to swallow for the Nationals is knowing that their slugger Bryce Harper might be gone after this season. It would mean that the Bryce Harper era in Washington was pretty much a waste. They haven’t won anything yet, just individual awards and accolades for Harper.
One team being floated around as a possible landing spot is Philadelphia. We went through this with Lebron and Philadelphia, so don’t hold your breath, Phillies’ fans. Also, there is still a possibility that he signs with the Nationals on a monster deal. Whoever wants to spend the most is likely going to be the winner. Cy Young candidates, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola, will get the call on the mound tonight. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Phillies pick and the rest of our writeup.
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick
Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.13 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA)
Scherzer, Nola, and Jacob deGrom are all in the fight for the Cy Young. deGrom looks like the obvious selection, but are they going to go with a guy with such a poor record? Scherzer and Nola both have solid records to back their campaign up. Nevertheless, it’s possible that all of them may not go to the postseason. The Nats and Mets are out, while the Phillies wouldn’t be in the postseason if it started today. However, these pitchers have done their part.
Scherzer enters with a stingy ERA of 2.13 and 0.89 WHIP. He’s been a fantastic addition ever since signing with the Nationals in 2015. Scherzer has chipped in with an ERA of 0.90 and 0.80 WHIP in his previous three starts. He allowed just 10 hits and 2 runs in 20 innings. Scherzer has a long history against this lineup and has been dynamite against them. The Phillies are hitting just .185 in 286 at-bats against Max.
It’s been the same for Nola, who enters Tuesday with the same ERA of 2.13. He’s been locked in like a laser recently, with an ERA of 0.43 and 0.81 WHIP in his last three starts. While Scherzer gave up 2 runs in his last three outings, Nola allowed only 1 run across 21 innings. Nola has given up more than 2 runs on only one occasion in his last ten. The Nats are hitting .226 in 164 at-bats against Nola. In their last duel, the Phillies won a tight 2-0 contest. We should expect to see another low-scoring duel with two of the best in the majors squaring off Tuesday night in Philadelphia.