Sunday Night Baseball: Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies will wrap up their three game series on Sunday night, and the game will be featured on Sunday Night baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies will be looking for the sweep, after winning the first two games of the series. The Nationals send a young pitcher to the mound in hopes of salvaging the series finale.
Both the Nationals and Phillies are trailing the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. After stealing the first two games of this series, the Phillies have jumped in to second place and just 1.5 games off the pace. The Washington Nationals have slipped to third place in the division, and trail the Atlanta Braves by three games. The Philadelphia Phillies are -105 against the Washington Nationals on Sunday night.
Nationals Trying to Find Offense
The WashingtonNationals continue to struggle scoring runs in 2018, after being one of the top scoring teams in baseball last season. Washington ranks 22nd in Major League Baseball in total runs scored, and their inability to score is holding them back in the division race. The Nationals have very capable offensive players, but these players need to start producing if they are going to return to the playoffs.
BryceHarper continues to lead the Nationals in the power department. The young phenom leads the team with 19 home runs and 45 runs batted in. If the Nationals can’t find players to protect Harper in the lineup, the former MVP will get less opportunities to produce in the second half of the season.
Washington will be sending young Jefry Rodriguez to the mound in the series finale. Rodriguez will be making his second start of his career, and has struggled since being called up by the Nationals. The 24 year old right hander has a 4.66 ERA through nine innings so far in 2018. The Nationals hope that Rodriguez can help them avoid the sweep on Sunday night.
Young Stars Leading Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies have struggled through a few rough seasons, but their young players are starting to produce for them. It appears that the Phillies have a terrific chance of making the playoffs this season. Philadelphia has done a great job of stocking their farm system in recent years, and some of these top prospects are now starting to shine at the Major League level.
OdubelHerrera and Rhys Hoskins are two of these young players who are playing great baseball for the Phillies. RhysHoskins leads the team in on base percentage, getting on base at a .378 clip. Hoskins showed the ability to hit the long ball last season as well. Herrera has been on a tear of late and has his batting average up to .308 on the season, which leads the team. The young star recently had a streak of hitting a home run in 5 straight games. If the Phillies are able to reach the playoffs in 2018, these two players will lead them there.
NickPivetta will start the series finale against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The young right hander has had an up and down season, but the potential is definitely there. Pivetta is just 4-6 with a 4.08 ERA in 2018, but is coming off of a dominant outing against the Cardinals in his last start.
Phillies Sweep Division Rivals
The Washington Nationals were playing great baseball heading into this series, but have not been able to slow down the Philadelphia offense. Washington will now send a young pitcher to the mound to pitch in a prime time game on Sunday. The Nationals must figure out a way to score runs if they are going to avoid the sweep on Sunday.
The Philadelphia fans have been waiting for this moment for a few years, but the Phillies are now a real threat to make the playoffs. The Phillies feature a lineup full of dynamic young players, and their pitching staff can pitch with the best in baseball. Philadelphia is in a terrific position for a sweep this weekend, and that is exactly what they are going to do. Bet the Philadelphia Phillies -105 to complete the sweep over the Washington Nationals on Sunday night.