Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants
Dates: Thursday, August 17 – Sunday, August 20, 2017
Location: AT&T Park
It’s all about building for the future right now for the Philadelphia Phillies. While that’s been the case for the last handful of years, the team looks to finally be catching on this season having come out on top in four of their last seven games. A solid west coast swing should have this club enthused to play out the string over the last five weeks of the regular season.
Slowly but surely, Giants’ fans are getting small glimpses of the future with youngsters seemingly getting called up every passing week. That’s a good thing when you consider just how quickly this team got old. No team in baseball has cost MLB bettors more money than that of the San Francisco Giants ( -$2987 ), but they could eat into that deficit in this series playing the second biggest money burner in the Phillies.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers - Thursday, August 17, 2017, 10:15 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Aaron Nola vs. Jeff Samardzija
Nola has been nothing short of magnificent since struggling initially after coming off the DL at the end of May. Season-long fantasy players that held onto him or picked him back up off the waiver wire have reaped the rewards. He’s thrown 10 straight quality starts and will enter start No. 20 having logged back-to-back seven inning dominant performances his last two turns. This will be his first career start against the Giants, and he should excel in pitcher friendly AT&T Park.
The Shark enters his 25th start of the season also in fine form after tossing six innings of 3 ER ball at the Nationals in Washington his last time out. The quality effort was his fourth straight. The key to his success has been limiting the long ball having allowed just one during that stretch over 27.1 innings. In doing so, he lowered his HR/9 average to a more palatable 1.3. San Francisco has won each of his last two home starts but he’s 1-4 with a bloated 8.67 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 10 career starts against the Phillies.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Friday, August 18, 2017, 10:15 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Zach Eflin vs. Chris Stratton
Eflin began the year with the big club, but was later sent down in late May due to ineffectiveness. He was called back up at the beginning of August and has been nothing to write home about through a pair of starts. He excelled against the weak hitting Braves limiting Atlanta to 2 ER through seven innings, but was then rocked for 2 HR and 4 ER through 5.1 innings by the Mets in his most recent turn. He rarely misses bats ( 5.0 K/9 ), and is a fly-ball pitcher. The latter could bode well for him tonight.
Stratton hardly impressed in his first two starts against the Tigers and Diamondbacks earlier this season, but he came from out of nowhere to toss one of the best games of his career last time out against the Nats. When it was said and done, the righty tossed nearly seven innings of shutout ball at the Nats and racked up a career high 10 Ks. He tallied his first win of the season, but if he expects to build off the effort, he must keep avoiding the free passes with his 4.6 BB/9 average very alarming.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Saturday, August 19, 2017, 9:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Matt Moore
The Phillies have been getting some solid starting pitching performances of late, and Eickhoff has added to the good run by logging quality efforts in three of his last four trips to the bump. Last time out, he gave up nine hits but only 2 ER to the Braves in Atlanta to take the win in Philadelphia’s 3-2 triumph. He hasn’t conceded a home run in five of his last seven starts, which is huge considering he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher with a 38.8 ground ball percentage. He was drilled by San Fran for five runs and six hits at home back on June 2 in his lone career start against the Giants.
After getting drubbed for 14 hits and 9 ER in his previous two starts combined, Sunday’s effort against Washington came as quite the surprise. The lefty went toe-to-toe with Max Scherzer and lived to tell about it by tossing seven innings of 2 ER ball and registering a season-high nine strikeouts. The quality effort only moved his percentage to 41.7 for the season, but he could thrive again in this spot against a Philadelphia offense averaging just 4.1 runs per game against southpaws ( No. 24 ).
Game 4 Probable Pitchers - Sunday, August 20, 2017, 4:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Mark Leiter Jr. vs. Ty Blach
Let’s face it. The Phillies are desperate for solid starting pitching evidenced by the staff ranked No. 21 in the quality start department. Leiter Jr. hasn’t fared very well as a starter this season, but he showed some promise in his last two long relief stints which earned him another shot at a spot in the rotation this week. Most impressive about his recent work has been his 16:0 K/BB ratio. Walks and a lack of strikeouts plagued him earlier this season. The Giants don’t take a ton of walks, but don’t strikeout much either. This should be a solid test for the youngster.
Blach saw his string of three straight quality starts go up in smoke last time out in Miami where Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna touched him up for a couple home runs en route to handing him his eighth loss of the season. When the dust cleared, the lefty conceded nine hits and 6 ER through six innings of work. The loss dropped the Giants to 9-11 in his 20 made starts, but he’s been his best back at home where he owns a 3.60 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 12 starts. He already has a complete game shutout thrown at the Phillies at the beginning of June under his belt.