Our bet yesterday was washed away with the rain in Washington. We made a play on the Phillies in game one of their four-game series against the Nationals, but after a three-hour delay, the umpires finally gave up on trying to get the game in and called it. It was a bit frustrating to lose out on the action as I felt strongly, that we were on the right side of things, and we were picking up significant dog money.
When I wrote up the pick yesterday, the Nationals were -140 favorites. By the time the game went off, or in this case, didn’t go off, that number had moved all the way to Nationals -180. It seemed like the public was positioned on the other side of our action, something that I love! If you find yourself agreeing with the general public too often, you are likely not as sharp as you thought you were. For today’s pick, I will stay right here in Washington as these teams try and get game two of this series in tonight.
The Philadelphia Phillies got a much-needed day off yesterday due to rain after coming into last night’s game banged up and reeling. The Phillies were coming off a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves that saw them give up twenty-nine runs while dropping two games out of the three-game set. Star players Jay Bruce and JT Realmuto were slated to miss the game, and the bullpen had been used and abused on the road trip.
For the Nationals, they are hoping that the unplanned day off doesn’t mess with their momentum as they were coming off of a fifteen-run explosion against the Arizona Diamondbacks in their last game. Game one will be made up tomorrow as part of a double-header. Tonight’s game will essentially be a replay of the game that didn’t happen last night, with the same starting pitchers scheduled to pitch.
Starting for the Phillies is Jake Arrieta (6-5 4.31 ERA), and for the Nationals, it is Patrick Corbin (5-5 4.11 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. The Nationals are -154 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Nationals Park in Washington.
When this game scratched last night, and both starters were named for tonight’s game, the number opened up at Washington -120. That is a stark contrast to the -180 the number closed at last night. But that made a lot of sense to me as this extra day off certainly seemed to favor the Phillies more than the Nationals.
Jay Bruce, who was out of yesterday’s lineup, will be available today. He may not start, but he should be available to pinch hit. And catcher JT Realmuto, who was sitting out of last night’s game as well, should be able to go today, and at a minimum will be available to hit late in the game. So, to see the number swing back towards Philly seemed reasonable. I hated that I lost all my dog money value, but it made sense.
But to see the number once again sharply move towards Washington, I am just left scratching my head. The Nats are now -154 favorites, and it wouldn’t at all shock me to see this one close out to somewhere near where it did last night at -180. I am not sure what the public sees that I am missing, but they really like the Nationals in this one.
But, I liked our chances yesterday at +130, and now with Bruce and Realmuto back in the fold, and an extra day of rest for the Philly bullpen, I love it where it stands now at Philly +144. In my estimation, our side of this bet only got better today. Better shot to win, and a higher price when they do.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s pick, both of these starters are a bit underwhelming this season. They are both better than they have shown, but in the last month, they seem to be moving in different directions. Patrick Corbin has been downright awful in his last three starts as he has pitched a combined twelve and two-thirds of an inning and has gotten blasted for a whopping twenty runs!
Corbin has pitched past the fifth inning just once in his last five starts, and this Washington bullpen is the worst in the major leagues. Yeah, they have been looking better the last couple of weeks since firing their pitching coach, but their bullpen ERA of over six runs, tells me that if Corbin can’t go deep into this game, Washington will get blown out.
And when you look at Philly starter Jake Arrieta, he has actually looked halfway decent in his last five starts as the Phillies have won four of five. Against Washington earlier this season, Arrieta pitched six strong innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out seven.
I liked our bet yesterday, and I love it today for all the same reasons and more. But with the public jamming hard and doubling down on Washington, I will likely wait this one out just a bit and see if that trend continues. This line is certainly juicy where it stands right now with Philly getting +142, but I expect the public to keep coming in on Washington, and this number could move significantly like it did last night. So, I will make a small play on it now at Philly +142, and then hit it again if the number moves before first pitch. Give me the Philadelphia Phillies as big road underdogs tonight in game two from the nation’s capital!