Phillies Vs Diamondbacks, Aug. 19
This was supposed to be their year, and for all intents and purposes, it was until recently. The Phillies were cruising along sitting in first or second place, Bryce Harper was getting NL MVP whispers and now they find themselves in the middle of a slump and a surging Braves team burying them in the division with every passing day. Can Philly turn things around before it’s too late? Will Arizona continue their hot streak at home?
Not too much to be happy about the last week or so in Philadelphia. The Phillies have gone just 2-5 in their last seven and are falling further and further out of first place. Things have even got as bad as dropping their opening game to the Diamondbacks who are nearing 50 games below .500. Philadelphia has struggled mightily on the road this season currently eight games under .500 at 25-33. Wheeler takes the hill in this one and look to get back on track as he has slipped a little in his last five starts, giving up three or more in three of his last five and allowing four homers. Wheeler will need to be on top of his game as the Phillies will be facing Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner who has rounded back into all start form after a tough start to his season. With the Phillies road struggles their going to need everything the NL’s leading strikeout pitcher’s got to get a much needed road win.
Arizona: The Return of Mad Bum
It certainly has been a year to forget in Arizona and I’m sure once the end of September rolls around, they will be doing just that. This team has shown a decent amount of fight recently, which is admirable for a team nearing 50 games under .500. The Dbacks have won six of their last 10 home games and look to add to that total against the struggling Phillies here. This could be just bad timing for the Phillies as we all know Arizona is a bad team, but they have won four of their last five and are coming in with a ton of confidence and their pitching has been the ones to really shoulder this small turnaround only allowing 15 runs across their last five. Today, in steps the man that has turned his season around and could be the cornerstone, if Arizona somehow turns this team around in the next few years… Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner started the season off rocky before finally admitting he was hurt and after a stint on the DL he has come back and has regained form. Outside of four starts in his last 15, Madison hasn’t given up more than two runs in an outing. Now those outings don’t generate many wins unfortunately because his team is terrible, but it is encouraging to see him performing well again. The troubling thing for Madison is that he hasn’t been able to avoid the long ball. Madison has given up 11 homers in that same 15 game span and at one point had given up a homer in five consecutive starts. Well see if the mad man can keep the ball in the park in this one.
Phillies VS Diamondbacks Pick: Under F5
There is no clear path to a side in this one, so were going to go with the first five total under four. The Diamondbacks have relied on their pitching as of late to come up with these wins and it’s been working. Bumgarner is averaging only one or two runs allowed per start and the Diamondbacks offense has been nonexistent all season so expect Wheeler to have a good afternoon piling up the strikeouts. Not much scoring early on in this one take the under four in the first five.