Stephen Nover Free MLB Sunday Play

On May 7, 2017, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Phillies plus $1.15 hosting Nationals

I know the Phillies may be a hard sell having dropped eight of their last nine games, including the past five, while the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 21-9.

But this spot sets up well for the home underdog Phillies.

The pitching matchup is Jeremy Hellickson versus Tanner Roark. Hellickson has been good in five of his six starts giving up two or fewer runs. This includes two April starts versus the Nationals where he allowed a combined two runs in 12 innings. Philadelphia is 5-0 in Hellickson’s past five home starts. It’s fair to say Hellickson is the Phillies’ No. 1 starter.

Roark is solid, but far from dominant. He’s also coming off a career-high 125-pitch count this past Tuesday in his last outing, a 6-3 home loss to Arizona that pushed his ERA to 4.04.

The Phillies’ bullpen has some depth, but not a trustworthy closer. However, the Nationals don’t even have a closer right now. Blake Treinen couldn’t hold the job and Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover are both on the DL. Set-up man Sammy Solis also is on the DL.

The Nationals also could be missing a large part of their offense. Ryan Zimmerman, the hottest hitter in baseball, is going to be rested today, according to Nationals manager Dusty Baker. Bryce Harper has missed the last two games because of groin tightness. Trea Turner is hitless in eight at bats in the series with four strikeouts. Adam Eaton is done for the year. Catcher Matt Weiters might be rested, too, after playing the first two games of the series.

The Nationals’ lineup is far less dangerous if Adam Lind, Chris Heisey, Wilmer Difo, Michael Taylor and Jose Lobaton are all in it.


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