The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets are set for a Saturday matinee in the second game of their series at Citi Field

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

The New York Mets are 2-14-1 in their last 17 series against the Philadelphia Phillies

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The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are ready to close out a three-game interleague series Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park

Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies SP Cole Hamels is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three career starts versus Boston

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The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves get set to play the series opener of a three-game set on Friday night between divisional foes at Turner Field

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

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Bettors will be hard-pressed to find a more lopsided pitching matchup than this series finale at Nationals Park.

Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

Philadelphia has dropped the two opening games of this series and have produced a 7-20 mark on the road since May 30.  Before this series, the Phillies were an impressive 15-6 in the nation’s capital since the start of the 2008 season.  Closer Brad Lidge blew the save in Saturday’s 7-5 loss and is now 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA and 10 saves in 14 opportunities this season.  “He’s our guy,” Manuel said.  “We’ve been working with him now for two years.”  The club dropped to 12-14 when facing left-handed starters this season (-790) and the total is 11-15 O/U in those contests.  In 2009, the Phillies went 29-16 (.644) in games started by opposing southpaws, which was the best winning percentage among all NL teams.  Philadelphia has now dropped its last five road series, with its last such win coming on June 15-17 in New York (AL).  The club is 32-24 in August the last three years (-200).

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The Cubs have picked up the first two games of the series and are after more, but the road team has other ideas.

Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

Philadelphia has dropped the first two games of this four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, but will now turn to its pair of aces over the weekend.  “We need to win tomorrow,” manager Charlie Manuel said.  “We’ll work on Sunday when we get there.”  The Phillies are now a game under .500 in July (6-7, -280), after going 20-7 during the month last season.  The club is still 17-10 against NL Central teams this season, which is similar to its 23-16 mark against the division in 2009.  First baseman Ryan Howard has produced three home runs and six RBIs in the first two games of this series and 20 homers on the season.  Don’t expect such a low-scoring game on Saturday, with the team having a 17-11 O/U mark in daytime games.

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The Phillies are in need of a big run before the All-Star break and hope their talented left-hander delivers in the second game of this three-game series.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

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The Phillies are 7-1 in the last eight meetings against the Padres, a team that has the National League’s best record coming into tonight’s contest.

San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies

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The NL East standings has a new look, as both of tonight’s teams are heading in opposite directions.

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

Philadelphia was knocked out of first place in the National League East for the first time since May 1, after Monday’s 9-3 loss to Atlanta at Turner Field.  “We seem to go through down periods the last couple of years at the end of May and Interleague in June,” said closer Brad Lidge.  The Phillies have lost seven of their last nine games and enters Tuesday having scored just 10 runs over that span (-677). This is vastly different from a team that started the month with an NL-best 12-3 record.  Philadelphia finds itself as an underdog for the third straight games, as the team is a dominating 31-19 the last three years as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (+1,560).

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On Friday, some may argue that the Subway Series deserves all the headlines.  Don’t mention that to the die-hard fans of these two clubs.

Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies

Boston picked up a quick two-game home sweep against the Minnesota Twins and now head off for a three-game series against Philadelphia.  The Red Sox finished with a losing 2-3 record on their last road trip against the Tigers and Yankees.  The team pushed its record against left-handed starters to 10-5 (+420) on the year with Thursday night’s victory and will get ready to face another tonight.  Playing the two-time defending NL Champions is certainly no picnic, but the Red Sox have destroyed the NL East in their last 51 matchups, going 38-13.  Phillies’ fans will be holding their breath during Interleague play, as the team is just 30-51 against the AL since Charlie Manuel took over the controls in 2005. 

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