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How To Bet On Nationals Phillies – Nationals Try To Move Closer To N.L. East Championship

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 9/23/2012 6:28:44 PM

The Washington Nationals own a hefty lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League's East Division. A sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies could nail down the division title.

Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies – Series Overview

Game 1: Tuesday, September 25    

Betting lines for this opening game in the three-game set at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia should favor the Phillies, even though they reside in the middle of the National League East and are looking up at the Nationals in the standings.

The Nationals, due to a rainout earlier this week against the Los Angeles Dodgers, have been forced to play a traditional doubleheader (two consecutive games played with a 25-minute break in between contests, as opposed to a split day-night doubleheader, which is what most teams choose to do these days). The act of playing a doubleheader has forced manager Davey Johnson to withhold his probable starter for this game.

The Nationals have not announced whom they will send to the bump on Tuesday. The fact that Washington has shut down starter Stephen Strasburg for the rest of the season has pinched the Nats' rotation in these weeks before the National League playoffs begin. The uncertainty surrounding Washington in this game is one powerful reason to take the Phillies. However, if Philadelphia isn't offering a strong pitcher to counteract that Nationals' bats, perhaps Washington should be picked, anyway.

The fact that Philadelphia is sending one of its most effective pitchers, starter Cole Hamels, to the mound should dissuade people from picking the Nats in this specific contest. Hamels owns an impressive 3.06 earned-run average and should have the trust of the savvy baseball bettor. Pick Philadelphia in this game, even though Washington leads the Phils by a country mile in the N.L. East standings.

MLB Betting Pick: Philadelphia

Game 2: Wednesday, September 26

You don't have to be an mma betting expert to realize that Washington should be favored in the last two games of this series, starting with the middle installment on Wednesday night. The pitchers for this contest have not yet been announced, but a brief survey of the teams' pitching rotations indicates that the Phillies' second- and third-best starting pitchers behind Hamels will probably not pitch until the weekend. Cliff Lee, Philly's second-best starter, pitched on Sunday against Atlanta and will definitely be unavailable for this series against the Nats.

Roy Halladay can't pitch in this game on Wednesday; he threw on Saturday against the Braves. Washington will enjoy a pronounced advantage in this game. The Nationals, even with someone from the back end of their rotation, will be able to play this game on even terms, cobble together a few runs, and win this game in a battle of the bullpens. Washington's bullpen has been far better than Philadelphia's all season long. The Phillies need a dominant outing from a starting pitcher to win games in this series, and they're not going to get one on Wednesday.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington

Game 3: Thursday, September 27

While some people focus on NFL betting, the nation's capital city is gearing up for the baseball playoffs, and in Thursday's series finale, the Nationals are likely to win again. It's possible that Philadelphia could send Roy Halladay to the mound in this game, since he did pitch on Saturday, but the lingering point of uncertainty for manager Charlie Manuel is that he has two pitchers ahead of Halladay in the rotation, which would bump Halladay to Friday. If that is indeed the case, Washington should enjoy the pitching edge in a game whose starters have not yet been announced.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington

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