The All-Star break is over, and all 30 teams are scheduled to play on Friday. The Washington Nationals will head to Pennsylvania to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. This series is huge for both teams, as it can set the tone for the second half of the season. If the playoffs started prior to this series, these two teams would be playing the NL Wild Card game. Whoever wins this series will take hold of second place in the National League East.
The Nationals lead the season series 7-4. The are outscoring the Phillies 67-54.
Probable Starters and Game Times
Game 1: Friday, July 12 | 6:05 PM EST
Probable Starters: Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.64 ERA) vs. Nick Pivetta (4-3, 5.84 ERA)
Game 2: Saturday, July 13 | 7:15 PM EST
Patrick Corbin (7-5, 3.34 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.74 ERA)
Game 3: Sunday, July 14 | 1:05 PM EST
Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.30 ERA) vs. TBD
Players to Watch for
Washington Nationals: Juan Soto
Even though it’s just his second season, Juan Soto has had his fair share of at-bats against Philadelphia. The 20-year-old slashes .337/.430/.709 against current Phillies pitchers through 86 at-bats. Out of his 29 hits, 16 go for extra bases. The youngster is playing well this season too as his line after the first half was .300/.406/.537. He’ll look to kick off his second half the same way this weekend.
Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper hasn’t been playing up to his contract so far this season. He’s still hitting .253/.370/.470 as of the All-Star break, which is a line that a lot of hitters would be happy to have. Even still, this isn’t what the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to do. The 26-year-old hits well against current Nationals pitchers, slashing .296/.441/.620. Bryce is going to want to turn things around to help the Phillies throughout the rest of this season.
- Jeremy Hellickson (SP) will be out for about another week as his shoulder recovers.
- Koda Glover (RP) has a forearm injury and will likely be out until August.
- Justin Miller (RP) can return to the bullpen next week if his shoulder allows.
- Andrew McCutchen (OF) is out for the season with an ACL injury.
- David Robertson’s (RP) elbow is keeping him out for at least a few more weeks.
- Jake Arrieta (SP) can possibly pitch Sunday if his elbow recovers.
- Jared Eickhoff is out with a bicep tendinitis.
- Pat Neshak (RP) is still sitting due to his hamstring.
- Seranthony Dominguez (RP) will remain sidelined until at least August.
Feature Image Courtesy of Washington Post.