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Phillies at Nationals – Free Pick August 2nd

Philadelphia Phillies +100 at Washington Nationals -110 (Total: 7.5)

Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.31 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

Last night gave us a nice double-up win, with Cincinnati handling their business at home over the Padres, as well as covering the +120 run line.  As excited as I was to tuck that nasty losing streak safely to bed, the more exciting game of the night was the absolute thriller in Texas.  The Angels, who had stormed to just three games back in the West led 7-1 midway through the game before the Rangers’ offense started mounting their comeback.  They capped it off with a run in the 8th to close to 7-6, and then a run in the bottom on the 9th to force extra innings.  The momentum looked to be solidly on their side until the Angels tallied three runs in the top of the 10th, including a three-run Albert Pujols dinger to seemingly seal the win.

10-7, bottom of the tenth, game over, right?

Not so fast.  The Rangers scored four runs in a wild bottom of the tenth, culminating with Elvis Andus’s walk-off single to steal an 11-10 win.  It may just be one win, but the swing in the standings (and emotionally) can’t be overlooked.  If the Rangers end up holding on to win the AL West, remember August 1st’s thriller.

On to tonight’s pick…

The Washington National are firmly in control of the National League East, while the Phillies find themselves in unusual territory; sellers at the trade deadline as opposed to their customary role of adding one or two piece for the World Series run.   However, the one piece they didn’t move, ace lefty Cole Hamels, will take the mound tonight as the Phillies look to cap off a sweep of the first-place Nats.  Hamels has been excellent on the season.  His 1.15 WHIP is Top Ten in the majors, and his 11 wins rank him near the top of the NL.  He has been just fair in his last three outings, but I expect him to look sharp tonight against a Washington lineup that has scratched out just three runs in their last three games against Philly.

For Washington, they hand the ball to Ross Detwiler in hopes of staving off a home sweep.  Detwiler has been a pleasant surprise this season, bolstering the bottom half of a spectacular starting rotation.  He has posted a 2.41 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.12 over his last three outings.  Tonight, he faces a Phillies lineup that is hitting just .227 against southpaws on the season.

Neither team has hit left-handed pitching very well all season, and now Philadelphia “boasts” a lineup without Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence.  I like tonight’s game to be a low-scoring affair, and am not opposed to a UNDER 7.5 total wager.  However, my official pick is with the undervalued Nationals tonight getting another solid effort from Detwiler and stymying a depleted Philadelphia lineup.

Free Pick:  Washington Nationals to WIN -110