There are positive first impressions to a fan base, and then there is throwing a no-hitter in your first home start after being acquired at the trade deadline. Michael Lorenzen completed the latter last night in a phenomenal performance, and now Philadelphia can secure a series win with a victory tonight. We’ll preview the game before reviewing my play on the run-line.
Michael Lorenzen stole the show last night by throwing the Phillies' 14th no-hitter in franchise history. The right-hander struck out five Washington Nationals and allowed four walks over 124 pitches, and now his custom Vans cleats are heading off to the Hall of Fame. As for the rest of the team, the offense did a nice job of giving Lorenzen run support by putting up seven runs, four of which came from Nick Castellanos’ two home runs and Weston Wilson’s first career home run.
As they look to build off their impressive performance last night, the Phillies will send right-hander Aaron Nola to the mound to close out the series. Nola enters tonight amid a rough patch in the season, with back-to-back losses in which he’s allowed five earned runs in each of them. Overall the right-hander is now pitching to a 4.58 ERA in 143.3 innings of work.
If there were ever a time more suited for getting back on the right track, it would be tonight since Nola faces a Nationals lineup that didn’t find the hit column last night. This will be the first time Washington has seen Nola this year, and while one might assume the offense will be extra motivated, it’s proven not to be easy to bounce back after being no-hit. The three teams that have been no-hit before yesterday went 1-2 in the game following the no-no.
In an effort to at least split the series, the Nationals will send lefty Patrick Corbin to the hill for his 24th start of the year. Corbin has allowed three or more earned runs in four straight outings and has only held a team under five hits in one of his last ten starts. The lefty took a no-decision in his most recent outing after allowing three earned runs in 6.1 innings.
It can be difficult for a team that just threw a no-hitter to come back the next day and perform with all the emotion and celebration that comes from that. That said, though, I still think the Phillies are in a prime position to come away with a series win tonight, so for my play, I’ll be taking the Phillies run-line of (-1.5), which is priced at (-120).
The Phillies offense has an excellent matchup on the mound tonight, with a struggling lefty going up against them. Philadelphia is hitting .296 against lefties at home over the last month and ranks 6th in OPS and wRC+ for that split. Their opponent tonight, Patrick Corbin, has a 6.49 FIP and .271 batting average against in 62.2 road innings this season and is also in the first percentile in expected batting average and 4th percentile in xERA/xwOBA.
Meanwhile, after last night, the Nationals' offense is now hitting .231 against right-handed pitching on the road in 458 plate appearances over the past month. On top of the bad batting average, Washington also ranks 21st in OPS and wRC+ in that split. Aaron Nola has been far better at home this season, with a .210 batting average against, and will hand the ball to a well-rested Phillies bullpen to close out the game.
Philadelphia Phillies (-1.5)(-120)