After coming over from the Los Angeles Dodgers in last week’s blockbuster that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner out west, Josiah Gray makes his Washington Nationals debut today against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz were the big prizes for the Nats in the deal, but Gray’s big league career has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start and now he must face a Phillies lineup that has been swinging some big sticks since the weather has warmed up.
Check out our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Phillies vs. Nationals on Monday, August 2.
Phillies vs Nationals game info
• Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
• Date: Monday, August 2, 2021
• Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Phillies vs Nationals odds
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Phillies vs Nationals betting preview
Ranger Suarez (5-3, 1.12 ERA): Suarez has been the Phillies' long reliever for the majority of the year and to great effect, but makes his first start of the season. The most innings he has logged in a game this season has been three innings.
Josiah Gray (0-0, 6.75 ERA): Gray had made two starts for the Dodgers just before getting traded, and the right-hander had allowed six runs on seven hits over his first eight big-league innings. But has shown some of that promise, striking out 13 batters in that stretch.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Phillies: Andrew McCutchen OF (Questionable), Rhys Hoskins 1B (Questionable), Bailey Falter RP (Out), Matt Joyce OF (Out), Sam Coonrod RP (Out).
Nationals: Austin Voth RP (Out), Kyle McGowin RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 9-4-1 in the Nationals' last 14 games as an underdog. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Nationals.
The Phillies enter this game just 3.5 games out of first place in the National League East, but they’ll need to find some consistency if they hope to track down the Mets.
Just look at their last 10 games. The Phillies are just 5-5 over that stretch, averaging 7.8 runs in the five wins but just 2.0 runs in the five losses. Now they can’t afford to be giving up games to teams like the Nats, who have essentially called it a season.
That starts with getting to Gray. The right-hander has shown some flashes of potential this season, but he also surrendered four dingers in his eight innings of work. Now, he faces a Phillies team that has hit the sixth-most home runs since the beginning of June.
Countering Gray is Ranger Suarez. The Phillies long-relief man makes his first start of the season, but he has pitched well, with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP while limiting opponents to a .152 batting average.
While both teams have their flaws, the Phillies are the team still with something to play for and Suarez should be able to help them get out to an early lead, so backing the road team at this price seems like the play here.
PREDICTION: Phillies (-110)
While the side looks like a tossup, the total of 8.5 looks closer to a slam dunk. For starters, when these teams played their four-game set last week, they averaged 11 runs per game, with the only low-scoring game being the gem pitched by the since-departed Max Scherzer.
For the Phillies, Suarez has been solid but has not gone longer than three innings in a game this season, and will have to hand to a bullpen that ranks 20th in ERA, 25th in WHIP, and 26th in opponent batting average.
The Philly pitchers will have to face a Nats lineup that, despite the mass exodus, is hitting the ball well recently. That includes putting up 22 runs in that Phillies series last week. The Over looks like a solid play here.
PREDICTION: Over 8.5 (-110)
Phillies vs Nationals betting card
- Phillies (-110)
- Over 8.5 (-110)
Picks made on 8/2/2021 at 1:30 p.m. ET
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