Phillies vs. Nationals Prediction
The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in baseball right now, having won six in a row. Will Washington push the streak to seven this afternoon when it hosts the Philadelphia Phillies?
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Nationals Park at 4:05PM ET
TV: MASN (WASH)
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Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers, the Nationals are a -143 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Phillies are a +133 underdog, while the total is set at 9 runs. As of Saturday morning, 74 percent of public bets are pouring in on host Washington. Check out our MLB Public Betting Page for the latest info.
Harper excelling in leadoff role
Bryce Harper has seen more pitches to hit since moving to the leadoff spot this week and taking full advantage of it. Harper has four home runs in four games since moving to leadoff, including two in Friday night's 7-3 victory over Philadelphia. He has driven in nine runs in the four games, so getting runners on base in front of him aside from his first at-bat hasn't been an issue yet. Harper now has 12 home runs on the season and has upped his batting average to .264 with an OPS of 1.072.
Tanner Roark will get the start for the Nats today and he has been pitching very well through the first month of the season. After posting a 4.67 ERA last year, he looks to be on his way toward a much better 2018 as his ERA currently stands at 3.55 with a 1.03 WHIP through six starts. A small sample size, but it is more on line with his 2016 season when he had a breakout season. Roark allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings with four strikeouts and two walks in a 3-2 win over the Pirates his last start.
Velasquez struggling to put it together
Phillies 25-year-old starting pitcher Vince Velasquez showed plenty of promise as a rookie two years ago with some big strikeout games, but he hasn't been able to show consistency as a starting pitcher at the MLB level. Over his last two starts, he has surrendered 10 earned runs on 11 hits with four total home runs allowed over 8 2/3 innings. He is 1-4 on the season and his ERA has risen to 5.70.
The Phillies are only 3-7 in their last 10 games as they have taken a considerable step back after being one of the hotter teams in baseball for a couple-week stretch. Philadelphia is 17-14 on the season and only 6-9 in road games.
MLB Betting Trends
The over is 7-3 in the last 10 Philadelphia games overall. The Phillies are 34-72 in their last 106 road games.
The under is 8-2 in the last 10 Roark home starts. Washington is 38-18 in the last 56 head-to-head-meetings.
Washington is on a hot streak and the decision to move Harper to leadoff looks like a stroke of genius. It could be a permanent move this season as he now has the protection of Trea Turner behind him. With how Roark has been dealing and how Velasquez is struggling, the Nationals are my pick here to continue their win streak.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON NATIONALS -143