MLB Picks 2012: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals

The Philadelphia Phillies (47-57) and Washington Nationals (61-42) will close out a three-game National League East series on Thursday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals   

The Washington Nationals are just 4-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies this year

Philadelphia hit three solo home runs en route to a 3-2 road victory over Washington on Wednesday night, as the clubhouse is still a believer in making a playoff run despite trading away numerous players at the deadline.  “We’ve got some life to us and we’re having fun,” commented Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.  One unit that has really come together recently is the bullpen, posting an NL-leading 1.33 ERA over the previous 11 games.  Philadelphia is 8-9 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “over” going 11-6 in that situation.

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.31 ERA) has watched the club drop five of his last six starts, including a 6-1 setback on the road to the Atlanta Braves, allowing five runs (three earned) and four hits over five frames.  The left-hander is 6-2 with a 3.52 ERA in 10 road outings, issuing 19 walks and striking out 63 batters in 69 frames.  In 22 career starts versus the Nationals, Hamels has tallied a 12-4 record and 2.48 ERA, including a 4-1 home victory on May 23.

Washington didn’t give up any ground in dropping a one-run setback last night, as the Atlanta Braves were unable to take care of business against the Miami Marlins.  The Nationals entered this series winning seven of eight, but has ran into trouble when facing their biggest division rival this year.  The club is 4-4 against the Phillies, while posting a dominating 21-12 record against the rest of the division.  Washington is 2-5 as a home underdog of +100 to +125, with the “over” going 4-3 in that situation.

Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24 ERA) watched the club suffer a defeat for the first time since June 24 last time out, surrendering four runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings of a 6-0 road loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.  The left-hander is 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 11 home outings (eight starts), surrendering just four home runs in 54 frames.  In six lifetime appearances (five starts) versus the Phillies, Detwiler has compiled a 1-3 record and 4.45 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this contest, with the OVER going 27-9-1 in the last 37 meetings in the nation’s capitol.

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