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The Washington Nationals (47-42) and Philadelphia Phillies (47-43) meet for a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park beginning Friday night. Here’s what bettors should be expecting throughout the nationally televised three-game set.

Friday, 6:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network

Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.64 ERA) (WSH) -135 / -1.5 runs (+115) / Over 9.5 runs (-105)
Nick Pivetta (4-3, 5.84 ERA) (PHI) +125 / +1.5 runs (-135) / Under 9.5 runs (-115)

MLB free play: Over

All signs point toward a high-scoring series opener between the Nationals and Phillies.

Washington’s Stephen Strasburg owns a respectable 3.19 road ERA this season, but he was knocked around for six runs in just four innings at Citizens Bank Park on April 9. Right fielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Maikel Franco each took him deep in that affair. Harper was facing his former teammate for the first time, but Franco only added to an impressive 9-for-27 all-time mark against Strasburg, with three home runs. Catcher J.T. Realmuto (11-for-28) and left fielder Jay Bruce (9-for-25) are also a threat to chase the former No. 1 pick early.

Nick Pivetta will counter for Philadelphia, and a 7.33 ERA in his last four starts doesn’t inspire confidence. He’s allowed nine home runs in his last 20 1/3 innings of work. Third baseman Anthony Rendon (10-for-18, four home runs) is among the Nationals batters that give Pivetta major headaches.

These bullpens often spring leaks and may do so again Friday night. The Phillies’ relief corps was 26th in opponent batting average (.268) in the first half of the season while the Nationals’ relievers were dead last (.276).

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX

Both Washington’s Patrick Corbin (7-5, 3.34 ERA) and Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.74 ERA) went into the All-Star break red-hot, so bettors should expect few runs to be scored early in this Saturday evening affair.

Corbin has a 0.96 ERA in his last four starts, and his WHIP in that span is 0.786. He started this current hot streak against the Phillies on June 19, when he allowed just one earned run on four hits and struck out eight in seven frames. Corbin delivered a quality start (six innings, three earned runs) in his lone appearance at Citizens Bank Park this season May 4.

Nola’s ERA in his last four starts is 0.61. He’s evidently rediscovered his out pitches after struggling most of the year, as he’s struck out 34 batters in his last 29 2/3 innings of work. Nola labored in both of his early season encounters with the Nationals, but last year he went 3-1 in five starts against them, with a 2.14 ERA and opponent batting average of .200.

Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, TBS

The Phillies have yet to name a starter for Sunday’s series finale, but they’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can go toe-to-toe with Washington’s Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.30 ERA) at the moment.

The Nationals have won seven straight with Scherzer on the mound, and he got the decision each time. The heterochromic righty has struck out 79 batters in that span (52 innings) with a 0.87 ERA. The Phillies’ bats were silenced by Scherzer on June 19, when they scratched out just four hits over seven frames. First baseman Rhys Hoskins is 0-for-17 lifetime off Scherzer with 10 strikeouts.


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