The Angels roadstand continues tonight with another NL East team, as they find themselves in Philadelphia to take on the Phillies. Both teams' seasons are headed in drastically different directions, and we’ll preview the opening game of their series before going over my play for the first five innings.
It’s been a highly successful homestand for the National League reigning champion Philadelphia Phillies, entering tonight with a 5-1 record over their last six games. Over the weekend, the Phillies made light work of the St. Louis Cardinals, completing a three-game sweep over them yesterday with a 3-0 win. Philadelphia wasn’t able to capitalize with runners on like they did in the first two games of the series, but a Kyle Schwarber home run and RBIs from Trea Turner and Bryce Harper was all they needed.
The lack of run production wasn’t a big deal since Aaron Nola had his best stuff working on the mound, which resulted in him throwing seven scoreless with nine punchouts. Looking for their fourth straight win, Philadelphia will have Taijuan Walker on the mound for his 26th start. The veteran right-hander struck out seven in five innings of work during his last outing but ended up with a no-decision after allowing three runs (two earned).
Walker took on the Giants in his most recent start, and now he gets another West Coast team with the Angels in town. Los Angeles had the chance to complete a sweep over the Mets yesterday, but they could not finish the job, ultimately losing 3-2. The Angels offense only put up a four in the hits column, with Luis Rengifo’s solo home run being their biggest offensive highlight.
Lucas Giolito will toe the rubber tonight for LA, and he’ll be looking to get his second win in an Angels uniform since being traded at the deadline. The right-hander has struggled to make an impression on the Angels fanbase, as he is pitching to a 6.67 ERA in 27 innings with the team. In his most recent outing, Giolito took the loss after allowing four runs (one earned) over six innings.
The Phillies F5 moneyline is currently priced (-125), and I’ll be backing them for my play. Philadelphia is 9-5 on the F5 moneyline in their last 14 home games, and their team total over for the first five innings is 11-6 in their last 17 home games. With a struggling righty on the mound against them, I think the Phillies can continue their impressive play at home.
Over the last month, Philadelphia is hitting .308 and ranks 2nd in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. This is not the offense that any struggling pitcher would want to see right now, especially Lucas Giolito since he is in the 37th percentile in xERA/xwOBA, 27th percentile in slugging percentage, and 15th percentile in barrel percentage. In 73.1 road innings this season, the right-hander also has a 5.77 FIP.
While the Phillies' offense has been consistently lighting up the scoreboard, the Angels' offense has been doing the opposite. In the past 30 days, LA is hitting .207 and ranks 27th in wRC+ and 26th in OPS against right-handed pitching on the road. Their matchup, Taijuan Walker, has been inconsistent recently but still has a 3.14 ERA and .199 batting average against when pitching at home.
Philadelphia Phillies F5 (-125)