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Phillies And Nationals Try To Establish Consistency And Make A Run At The Braves

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/23/2013 7:26:56 PM

The Philadelphia Phillies weren’t expected to be the favorite in the National League East this season, but they were expected to be in contention. They are. They face Washington in late May.

Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies @ Washington Nationals
Game 1 – Friday, May 24

Sports betting lines will certainly favor the Nationals in the opening game of this series. Philadelphia sends starter Kyle Kendrick to the mound in this contest. Kendrick is a perfectly serviceable pitcher, but he does not have top-end stuff or the credentials that inspire a great deal of fear in opposing hitters. Kendrick’s job when he gets the ball from manager Charlie Manuel is to keep his team in the game and stay away from the big inning.

Washington’s starter in this contest has a bigger job… and the ability to perform it.
Jordan Zimmermann has been an elite pitcher to this point in the season. Zimmermann has anchored Washington’s starting rotation, giving ballast to the Nationals in a season when their overall level of performance has been choppy and uneven. Zimmermann, through almost two full months of pitching, and thrown down a 1.62 earned-run average, one of the best marks in all of baseball. Zimmermann isn’t just staying away from big innings; he’s been a shutdown force for the Nats, and he’s very likely to outduel Kendrick on Friday night.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington

Game 2 – Saturday, May 25

When the best online betting sites really focus on the particulars of this tilt, they will be split on how to handicap it. Philadelphia starter Jonathan Pettibone is a young pup, a rookie who has made six career starts, all of them over the past month and a half. Pettibone has done well in those six starts, posting an ERA of exactly three runs. He has been a very steady, though not overpowering, pitcher for the Phillies.

Dan Haren is the starter for the Nationals. He has a lot more experience than Pettibone, but he has not performed well this season, registering a bloated 5.54 ERA and getting knocked around in the middle innings of games, when opposing hitters see him for the third time in a game. Haren has been unable to make midgame adjustments, and this is a real problem for him. Even though Pettibone is a rookie who will probably regress before too long, Haren’s level of performance does not justify a Washington pick. Take the Phillies here.

MLB Betting Pick: Philadelphia

Game 3 – Sunday, May 26

Unlike online poker, the dealers in a baseball game depend on their release points. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels is struggling with his release point. Hamels used to be a stopper for the Phils, but he enters this game with a 4.45 ERA and has not been as dominant as his team needs him to be. Hamels will be opposed in this game by Ross Detwiler for the Nationals, who has logged a 2.76 ERA to this point in the season. Detwiler is a noticeably better pitcher, and he will outperform Hamels here. Go with Washington.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington

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