The Arizona Diamondbacks (55-51) and Philadelphia Phillies (47-59) will continue a three-game National League series on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Arizona is now four games over .500 for the first time since April 16, capturing a 4-2 series-opening road contest against Philadelphia on Friday night. “Tonight we finally won a close game,” commented Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson on the team’s effort. The Diamondbacks are certainly making some noise in chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the NL West division, winning 13 of their last 18 games. Arizona is 4-8 as a road underdog of +125 to +150, with the “under” going 6-4 in that situation.
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Joe Saunders (5-7, 3.62 ERA) has watched the club drop four of his last five outings, including a 5-1 setback at home against the New York Mets, allowing four runs and eight hits over seven frames. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight road outings, issuing 15 walks and striking out 34 batters in 51.2 combined frames. In four career efforts versus the Phillies, Saunders has compiled a 1-2 record and 5.25 ERA
Philadelphia didn’t have many opportunities to score runs in the series opener, going just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. “We made some mistakes, some baserunning mistakes,” stated Phillies manager Charlie Manuel after the game. The Phillies are certainly a new-look ball club for the final two months of the 2012 season, trading away outfielders Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, while also parting ways with starting pitcher Joe Blanton. Philadelphia is 11-7 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this year.
Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (4-6, 4.33 ERA) is looking for his first win since May 17, coming off a no-decision effort against the Atlanta Braves in a 6-2 road loss, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.28 ERA in six home outings, surrendering just three home runs in 40 frames. In four career starts versus the Diamondbacks, Halladay has compiled a 3-1 record and 2.73 ERA, issuing just four free passes in 29.2 combined innings.
Sports bettors will likely play the Phillies due to their 44-17 record in Hallday’s last 61 starts as a favorite, while the Diamondbacks are 0-5 in Saunder’s last five trips to the mound as a road underdog.