MLB Predictions & Odds: Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals
Friday, May 04, 2012
by Mike Stewart
That difference has Washington in first place in the division, 3 ½ games up on Philadelphia, and carrying plenty of confidence into a three-game series at Nationals Park this weekend.
Washington did not get much from its offense during a five-game losing streak this week, totaling seven runs in the slide. But phenom Bryce Harper doubled in the deciding run in Thursday’s 2-1 win and is batting .375 through the first five games of his career. While Philadelphia waits for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to get healthy and Jimmy Rollins to get hot, the team is using Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence in the third and fourth spots in the lineup. Pence has hit in six straight and Victorino homered on Thursday.
Kendrick has taken the loss in each of his two starts but was better last time out, when he held the Chicago Cubs to two earned runs while striking out seven in six innings. The veteran swingman is holding down Cliff Lee’s spot in the rotation. Kendrick is 2-3 with a 5.46 ERA in 13 career appearances - 12 starts against Washington.
The Nationals will counter with Strasburg, who continues to live up to the hype. The flame-throwing right-hander is second in the NL in ERA and has yet to yield more than two runs in an outing. Strasburg has recorded 34 strikeouts while issuing only six walks in 32 total innings. He has only faced the Phillies once in his career, surrendering a run on two hits while striking out six in 4 1/3 innings on Aug. 21, 2010 - his final start before Tommy John surgery that season.
1. Phillies RH Roy Halladay left the team this week to deal with a family matter but is expected to be in the dugout for Friday’s game.
2. Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche was lifted from Thursday’s lineup due to soreness in his right oblique. He is day-to-day.
3. Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) is expected to start hitting off a tee on Friday.
MLB BASEBALL PREDICTION: Washington 4, Philadelphia 2
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