Last winter’s top free agents square off as Phillies face Padres

After a rough three game series against the Dodgers that resulted in a sweep, the Phillies continue their West Coast road trip. Their next stop is San Diego where they will have a three game stint with the Padres. This series will highlight this past offseason’s top free agents facing off against each other in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. 

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Game One: Aaron Nola (6-0, 4.18 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (4-4, 4.45 ERA) 

Game Two: Jerad Eickhoff (2-3, 4.10 ERA) vs. Chris Paddack (4-3, 2.40 ERA) 

Game Three: Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.96 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (4-3, 3.96 ERA) 

This could be a series that the Phillies need to get back on track. San Diego has been in a slump as well, being losers in three of their last four games. The Phillies currently sit a game ahead of the Braves for first place in the NL East, so going in and capitalizing on a struggling team can help give them some breathing room in the division race. Being on the road should not be much of a challenge against the Padres as they have not capitalized at home this season with a record of 15-15. 

Along with facing a struggling team, the Phillies will also have two of their better pitchers on the mound in Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. Nola will take the hill to start the series and will look to continue his hot play. He is coming off an outing against the Rockies where he pitched six strong innings in which he only gave up one run and racked up 12 strikeouts in route to a win. Arrieta will start to close out the series and has pitched some good games as of late. In his last two starts, he has gone at least six innings and has only given up three earned runs in 14 innings of work over those starts.

The Phillies need to win this series to get a spark going heading into the All-Star break. Coming out and beating down on a struggling team can help the team quickly forget about the sweep at the hands of the Dodgers. Having the ace on the mound to start the series is just what the Phillies need to get back on track to winning baseball. 

Things to keep an eye on 

  • The Padres as a team are only batting .223 at home this season.
  • Bryce Harper is starting to get hot at the plate, currently batting .370 over his last seven games.
  • Manny Machado is currently going through a cold spell, only hitting .154 over his last seven games. 
  • Andrew McCutchen has been a better hitter on the road than at home this season. He is currently batting .266 outside of Citizens Bank Park (batting .245 in home games.)