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Betting Predictions On Nationals Phillies - Nationals Try To Remain On Top In National League East Division

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/18/2012 2:22:53 PM

The Washington Nationals have been one of the pleasant early-season surprises in professional baseball this year. They'll try to fend off defending N.L. East champion Philadelphia.

Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies – Series Overview

Game 1: Monday, May 21

If you are interested in betting on baseball this season, the upcoming three-game series between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies is going to prove to be challenging. One simply has to realize that these teams are not used to being in the positions they currently inhabit. Washington's franchise has been firmly ensconced at the bottom of the National League East since it relocated to the American capital city from Montreal several years ago. Philadelphia used to be a sad-sack franchise, but over the past five years, few teams have won with the consistency displayed by the Phillies. Philadelphia has made the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, winning one World Series in 2008 and capturing the National League pennant as well in 2009.

It's jarring, to say the least, to look at the 2012 MLB standings and see Washington battling Atlanta for first place in the National League East while Philadelphia sits in the cellar. Does this mean that Washington is an elite team and that Philadelphia is going to fall short of the playoffs this year? It's possible, but then again, it's only May. The season is still young, and there's plenty of time for the Phillies to find their footing. This series marks the very kind of occasion in which Philadelphia will try to begin to make a charge and show the Nationals who's still the boss in the N.L. East.

That last point – Philadelphia's desire to make a move – will probably enter into game one of this three-game set on Monday in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez brings a glowing 1.94 earned-run average into this game, while Philadelphia will go with starter Vance Worley, carrying a 3.07 ERA into battle. The raw numbers suggest that Washington has the advantage here, but Philadelphia's hitters are going to be very motivated for this game. The Phillies will take pitches, work counts, and play with a little extra aggression in this contest. The Phillies need to win this series, and they'll take a big step in that direction in game one.

MLB Betting Pick: Philadelphia

Game 2: Tuesday, May 22

The team that is a mystery for legions of sports betting experts is the Philadelphia Phillies, and one source of the Phils' problems this year has been starting pitcher Roy Halladay. The 3.20 ERA is decent, but it's far below Halladay's normal standards. The elite pitcher has lost velocity on his pitches this season, giving the Phillies cause for considerable concern. Washington will oppose Hallday in game two of this series with Jordan Zimmermann, who has posted a sharp 2.14 earned-run average. Zimmermann has simply been better and more consistent than Halladay this season. Take the Nationals in game two.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington

Game 3: Wednesday, May 23

The team that online betting sites are wondering about this season is Washington. Are the Nationals for real? It's hard to take that leap of faith just yet. Edwin Jackson will go to the mound for Washington in the finale of the series, bringing a 3.71 earned-run average to the ballyard. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels has a 2.28 ERA, and he's likely to outduel Jackson in a pitching matchup that clearly favors the Phillies. Take Philadelphia in game three.

MLB Betting Pick: Philadelphia

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