After taking the first three games, the Philadelphia Phillies will look to complete the four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals in a 4:05 p.m. ET afternoon matchup on Thursday.
Washington was one of the biggest sellers at last week's trade deadline, so the mounting losses are not unexpected, although two of the first three games featured the Nats bullpen imploding in the late innings.
The Phillies are MLB betting road favorites for the series finale with Aaron Nola on the mound. Can they get the job done and keep pace in the NL East race?
Continue reading our Phillies vs. Nationals MLB picks and predictions for Thursday, August 5, to find out.
Phillies vs Nationals game info
• Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
• Date: Thursday, August 5, 2021
• Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
• TV: MASN, NBCSP
Phillies vs Nationals odds
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Phillies vs Nationals betting preview
Aaron Nola (7-6, 4.30 ERA): Nola has had an up-and-down year with the Phillies but there’s no denying that he has found something recently. Over his last two starts, the righty has pitched 14 2-3 innings and allowed only three earned runs. Nola also struck out 14 batters over those two starts, but he is a lousy 3-4 with a 5.29 ERA when pitching on the road this season.
Joe Ross (5-9, 4.00 ERA): Ross has always had amazing stuff, and his 11-strikeout performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 4 suggests he still has it. The righty hit the IL right after that start against LA, and has made one good start and one bad start since returning. Overall, Ross has given up three or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight starts, so the Nats are going to be confident with him on the hill. Plus, he gave up zero earned runs across six innings against the Phillies in early June — but he did surrender four unearned runs in that outing.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Phillies: Andrew McCutchen OF (Out), Freddy Galvis SS (Out).
Nationals: Starlin Castro 2B (Out), Jordy Mercer SS (Out), Will Harris RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Nationals are 11-4 in their last 15 home games against right-handed starters. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Nationals.
The Nationals have lost the first three games of this series, and sold off half their team at the trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to roll over and drop the series finale.
This Washington team has the sixth-best batting average against right-handed pitching in the entire league and the group also is ninth in on-base percentage against righties. On top of both of those numbers, the Nationals have the fifth-lowest strikeout rate against RHP, meaning it’s going to be hard for Nola to rack up punchouts today.
One player to pay close attention to in this game is Ryan Zimmerman. The 36-year-old doesn’t play every day for the Nationals, but he is 8 for 32 with three doubles, two homers, and six RBIs against Nola in his career. He could provide a spark for this offense today, as could Juan Soto, who has two homers and four RBIs against the Phillies righty in his career.
Ross allowed four runs in his only start against the Phillies this year, but none of them were earned. The righty also happens to have a 2.11 ERA in 10 afternoon starts this year. Ross likes pitching when it’s bright out, and it should stay that way throughout this game. Also, the Phillies have a team batting average of just .180 against Ross, and nobody in this lineup has homered against him.
PREDICTION: Nationals (+134)
Nola has been pitching a lot better recently but he has not been great when pitching on the road this year. The righty also happens to be facing a Nationals team that does good work at the plate against right-handed pitching.
As mentioned earlier, Washington has won 11 of its last 15 home games against righties, and the team has the numbers at the plate to back it up.
Look for the Nationals to turn in a very good offensive performance in this game, and don’t be too surprised if the Phillies do the same. Ross has great stuff and has been pitching pretty well recently, but he’s also good for a mistake or two per game.
PREDICTION: Over 8.5 (-110)
Phillies vs Nationals betting card
- Nationals ML (+134)
- Over 8.5 (-110)
Picks made on 8/5/2021 at 12:53 a.m. ET
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