Series Preview: Phillies welcome the Rangers and a few familiar faces back to town for a 2-game series
The Phillies welcome the Texas Rangers to town for a two-game series starting tonight at 6:45 EST. The Phillies sit at 11-12 on the season, while the Rangers are just 8-14, holding the last place spot in the AL West.
The Phillies are coming off a tough series loss to the division rival and MLB leading New York Mets. This past weekend’s series was filled with everything from “no-hitters”, to purposely throwing at players, to even coach suspensions after the series was completed. Phillies vs Mets never disappoints, and we’ll get to see it again very soon, as New York comes to town immediately following this Rangers series.
The Phillies need a pick-me-up for the city of Philadelphia. Doc Rivers is the biggest idiot on planet earth and completely threw game one with DeAndre Jordan in the starting lineup. The Phils are due for a run, and what better chance to start it than the struggling Texas Rangers?
FOX Bet Odds Boosts for Tonight’s Series Opener
I have one bet for us tonight via FOX Bet. Bryce Harper is 5-15 in his career against Jon Gray, with 2 homers and 2 RBIs in 15 at-bats. Harper is returning home to CBP, his elbow is getting better, and the offense is going to explode tonight. Hop in on this bet with me here.
Series Pitching Matchups
- Tuesday: Ranger Suarez (2-0, 4.42 ERA) vs Jon Gray (0-1, 7.00 ERA)
- Wednesday: Zack Wheeler (1-3, 5.79 ERA) vs Martin Perez (0-2, 3.00 ERA)
Tuesday: Ranger Suarez will get the ball in Game 1 for the Phillies. Suarez’s season got off to a bit of a rough start, but he’s progressed with time and is finally coming back to where we know he can be. Suarez threw six innings in his last start, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. He’s 2-0 on the season with a 4.42 ERA and has tallied 12 strikeouts in his 18.1 innings pitched. He’ll go up against Jon Gray, who’s making his third start of the season. He’s thrown 9 total innings this season, allowing six hits, 7 earned runs, and three walks.
Wednesday: Phillies ace Zack Wheeler will get the ball for the team under the lights on Wednesday, making his fifth start of the season. Wheeler had a rough start to his year after zero spring training innings, but finally found his footing vs Colorado back on Thursday. He threw six innings, allowing just one hit, and fanned down seven in the team’s 7-1 win. He’ll be going up against Martin Perez for Texas, who has allowed seven earned runs in 21.0 innings this season.
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The Frustrating Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies just can’t string everything together right now. When the pitching is on, the bats go silent. When balls are flying out of the park, the pitching fails. It’s very frustrating to watch, but it gives me hope that they haven’t clicked yet, and still sit at 11-12 on the season. Even after a start to the season with a struggling Schwarber, a centerfielder that started 0-21, and an ace that looked like a Triple-A arm, the team is just one game under .500. After a 5-2 week, the Phillies did rise up the power rankings as well.
Kyle Schwarber is finally getting hot after his two home run game vs the Mets on Sunday night. Although his average is just .200, he leads the team in HRs with 7, and his swing is finally starting to look consistent again. Two homers off of Max Scherzer isn’t an easy task, and a hot Schwarber is exactly what this team needs right now.
While Schwarber is rising, the Phillies have some players going through major slumps. Rhys Hoskins’ average is down to .200 on the season, while Harper is down to .253. Harper and Hoskins have struck out a combined 52 times this season, which is not ideal by any means. Obviously, Bryce is still dealing with his elbow injury, and we should see him back on the field very soon.
If there’s a night to get your confidence back at the plate, it’s tonight as you’re facing a pitcher with a 7 ERA.
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The Texas Rangers were looking to be a sneaky team this year, with their big offseason additions to their middle infield of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Seager has impressed, leading the team in HRs while slashing .271/.323/.424, but Semien has not. He’s leading the team in at-bats, while hitting just .149/.224/.207, and has struck out 19 times in 87 at-bats.
Some familiar faces will be making their way back to Citizens Bank Park this weekend. Matt Moore has tallied a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings for the Rangers out of the bullpen, because of course he has. Brad Miller will also be coming back to Philadelphia, who is tied for the second most HRs on the Rangers with 2. The team will not be seeing Spencer Howard, who was optioned to the minors last week.
Game 1 Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
|Phillies||-1.5 (+122)||-166||O8.5 (-102)|
|Rangers||+1.5 (-146)||+140||U8.5 (120)|
Tonight’s Starting Lineup
Lineup Notes: Joe Girardi is doing something a little different tonight. Alec Bohm moves up to the two-hole, and Kyle Schwarber is back in the leadoff spot. Hoskins drops down to the 7th spot. Nick Castellanos was a late scratch, and Roman Quinn will now play RF and hit 9th.
Coming back to Citizens Bank Park is the best thing for the Phillies’ bats right now, especially Kyle Schwarber. I think the offense jumps all over these two arms for the Rangers this weekend. Phillies sweep the Rangers.