The Philadelphia Phillies try for a second straight win when they take on the host Washington Nationals in the first of a four-game series between National League East rivals on Monday night. The first pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The Phillies salvaged the finale of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, winning 15-4. Philadelphia is 52-53 and in second place in the NL East, trailing the first-place New York Mets by 3½ games and leading the third-place Atlanta Braves by a half-game.
Washington took two out of three from the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, including a 6-5 victory on Sunday. The Nationals are 49-56 and in fourth place in the NL East, 2½ games behind the Braves and five games ahead of the last-place Miami Marlins.
If you want to bet on this game, the MLB odds have the Phillies with a moneyline of -108, while the Nationals are listed at -102. The over/under for the series opener is set at 8½ runs.
The Phillies got an immediate impact with the acquisition of Kyle Gibson from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline, as the right-hander pitched into the seventh inning in his Philadelphia debut on Sunday. Gibson got the win to improve to 7-3.
“It was a lot of fun,” Gibson said after Sunday’s win. “There’s nothing like pitching in a pennant race and being on a team that’s fighting every single day to get to where you want to be.”
Left-hander Ranger Suarez will try to keep it going for the Phillies when he starts the opener on Monday. Suarez is making his first start since the 2018 season, having appeared in 67 games since then in relief.
Suarez is 5-3 with a 1.12 ERA, striking out 42 and walking 14 in 40.1 innings. He picked up the win in his last outing, a one-inning stint against Washington on Thursday.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto is coming off a five-hit performance in Sunday’s win, as he had two doubles and four RBIs as well. The All-Star is batting .268 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs.
First baseman Rhys Hoskins leads the Phillies with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs. He’s batting .289 with three doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs in 45 at-bats against the Nationals in 2021.
Right-hander Josiah Gray will get the start for Washington. He came to the team in the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
The 23-year-old is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA, with one start and two total appearances in the major leagues. His only starting assignment came July 25 against Colorado, as he went four innings and allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run, while striking out six and walking four in a 3-2 Dodgers victory.
With Turner and Kyle Schwarber dealt away at the deadline, Washington will be leaning on outfielder Juan Soto to drive the offense. Soto has a team-high 58 RBIs while batting .299. He’s hit 12 doubles, a triple and 18 home runs while scoring a team-best 70 times.
First baseman Josh Bell will also be looked to for more production the rest of the way. Bell is batting .251 with 14 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, 55 RBIs and 49 runs scored.
These familiar foes have already played 12 games , including a series in Philadelphia last week. Each team has won six times and they split last week’s four-game set.
Philadelphia will have Zack Wheeler (8-6, 2.45 ERA) on the mound on Tuesday, Vince Velasquez (3-6, 5.95) on Wednesday and Aaron Nola (7-6, 4.30) in Thursday’s finale. Washington will counter with Patrick Corbin (6-9, 5.78), Paolo Espino (3-2, 3.08) and Joe Ross (5-9, 4.00), respectively.
The MLB series prices for this key matchup have the Phillies as the favorites at -175, while the Nationals are listed at +145.
Phillies Win Opener
Philadelphia is building for this year, trying to catch the Mets in the NL East. Washington is building for the future with the inexperienced Gray. Look for the Phillies to feast on him in his first start in four seasons.
When making your MLB picks, take Philadelphia to win on the road.