The Philadelphia Phillies thumped the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 7-1 to get their four-game series started this week. They are going to need more of it down the stretch, because the Phillies haven’t been good enough up to this point. After spending $330-million on Bryce Harper, the Phillies are in danger of missing out on the postseason.
At a minimum, they were looking at going to the Wild Card Game. Bryce Harper was signed to get them ahead of the Braves in the NL East. However, the Braves have just gotten better and the Phillies hope that their plateau has yet to come in 2019.
With the win yesterday, the Phillies were able to keep pace with the Chicago Cubs, who won yesterday as well. They’re 2.5 games back. While the Phillies deal with the Reds in Cincinnati, the Cubs are hosting the lowly Seattle Mariners at Wrigley.
So, it’s imperative that the Phillies win this series and don’t dig a bigger hole. The Cubs are going to be sizable favorites again Tuesday, so we’re going to assume that they get another win. That’s going to put pressure on the Phillies to avoid dropping the ball in Cincinnati.
They did what they had to do on Labor Day. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins combined for 5 RBI’s to lead the way on Monday. Hoskins was going through a slump, but the power has been starting to return for him. The Phillies absolutely need Harper and Hoskins to come alive in September. Those two spots in the lineup could carry the team, but they’ve been giving spotty production throughout the year. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Reds pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
There isn’t any time for the Phillies to mess around now. They must get hot in September or they’re going to be one of the biggest failures in 2019. All the while, Bryce Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, could be going to the Wild Card Game. There won’t be any sights of Bryce telling the crowd to be quiet. If they can’t get in, they don’t have anyone else to blame but themselves. Alex Wood was expected to start in this one, but will be scratched as a result of a back injury.
Instead of Wood, the Reds will go with Lucas Sims who will getting the spot start. Sims has seen the minor leagues, bullpen, and starting rotation with the Reds. He enters with an ERA of 4.99, which is an improvement over his 7.84 ERA from 2018. The Braves traded him to the Reds after they gave up on him. In 14 showings in 2017, Sims posted a 5.62 ERA, so a 4.99 ERA isn’t the worst for him. In 30.2 innings, he’s allowed 17 earned runs, which includes way too many long balls with 7 of them.
Philadelphia have dismantled Sims in his career. They’ve seen him in just 19 at-bats, but this lineup made the most of it. The Phillies are hitting .421 with a .500 OBP and 5 runs scored on Sims. Velasquez is coming off a nice performance against the Pirates, allowing just 2 runs in 5 innings of play.
Cincinnati are hitting .243 with no home runs against Velasquez in 37 plate appearances. While his numbers haven’t been spectacular in 2019, Velasquez has allowed 3 or less runs in six of his last seven outings. A performance like that should allow the Phillies to get enough against Sims. I will be on the Phillies to make it two in a row over the Reds.