In what was the biggest win for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, Bryce Harper smashed a grand slam for a walk-off win against the Cubs on Thursday night. The bases were loaded with 2 outs and the stage was set for Bryce to be the hero. It was a no doubter once it left his bat and all the Cubs could do is watch yet another winnable game late in innings go into the toilet.
Pedro Strop was recently activated from the IL to let him rest following a rough stretch. Last night it was the same as before for Strop. He allowed 2 earned runs without recording an out, and then left Derek Holland in a difficult situation. I don’t know how many more blown games the Cubs can get away with and still go to the postseason.
With the win, the Phillies dealt the Cubs a sweep in that three-game series. That’s exactly what the Phillies needed to generate some much needed momentum. Going into that series, the Phillies were 1-5 in their previous six games. But, if they follow up the success they had against the Cubs with a dud, then the frustration is going to start all over again for the Phillies. It’s been that kind of year for them, but the best sign for them is that Bryce Harper appears to be finding his stroke now. That’s bad news for everyone else who is in the National League wildcard hunt.
The Phillies stay home over the weekend, as they welcome the Padres to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game series. Philadelphia will be on the road in Boston and Miami following this weekend. Vince Velasquez will get the starting call for the Phillies, while Chris Paddack is expected for the visiting Padres on Friday night. Head below for our free Padres vs. Phillies pick.
San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Chris Paddack was just what the Padres were looking for this season. Unfortunately, it isn’t the only thing that the Padres needed to get over the hump and become a postseason team. With little depth on their pitching staff and a hot and cold offense, the Padres haven’t been able to sniff the top of the NL West. Playing in the same division as the Dodgers has something to do with it, but so does a record of 56-64. The wildcard has been up for grabs and the Padres faded off while others started to play better baseball.
Paddack enters Philadelphia with an ERA of 3.26 and 0.93 WHIP. That’s great for any pitcher and exceptional for a rookie. He’s made just 20 starts in his major league career, but Paddack picked it up pretty quickly. With 9 runs allowed in his last 10 innings, I’d say that he has seen better days, though. Paddack goes into this one with a 5.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his previous three outings.
Also keep in mind that he hasn’t been so great on the road. He owns a 3.95 ERA in 57 innings as a visitor. It’s easy to discern why this is happening for Paddack. Petco Park is one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball. There he’s allowed only 6 home runs. However, on the road that number doubles to 12 long balls yielded. The Phillies are hitting .308 in 26 at-bats against Paddack. Bryce Harper is hitting .667 in one game against him.
Conversely, the Padres have recorded just 2 hits against Vince Velasquez. In 24 at-bats, the Padres are hitting 0.83 with no runs scored on him. He was dominant in a 5-0 win over the Padres last season. Velasquez has been pitching well recently as well. In his previous four outings, he hasn’t allowed more than 4 runs and gave up more than 2 runs just once. With momentum and an excited home crowd on their side, expect the Phillies to notch a win in the series opener against the Padres.