The Phillies continue their homestand with a pivotal series in the Wild Card race against the San Francisco Giants. Photo by Wayne Terry, TPL.

After dropping two of three to the Braves over the weekend, the Phillies look to bounce back as they will host a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants. Losing the series to the Braves was not ideal, but now they need to hold off the Giants to keep up in the Wild Card race. 

Probable Pitching Matchups 

Game one: Drew Smyly (1-5, 7.69 ERA) vs. Tyler Beede (3-4, 4.85 ERA)

Game two: Vince Velasquez (3-5, 4.46 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 3.95 ERA) 

Game three: Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.51 ERA) vs. TBD

Right now the Giants have not decided who is going to take the hill for them for the series finale, and for the Phillies’ sake, hopefully they do not decide to go with Madison Bumgarner. The Phillies will not have their ace on the mound in this series. Instead, they will hand the ball to Drew Smyly in game one as he will make his second start in a Phillies uniform. Vince Velasquez will be starting in game two, and he will look to continue to prove that he belongs in the starting rotation. Then in the series finale, Jake Arrieta will take the hill and hopefully get some momentum going heading into August.

Major Wild Card Implications

This is a series that the Phillies need to win, but it is not going to be easy as the Giants have been playing good baseball as of late. Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Giants have won seven of their last ten games. Their hot play has kept them in the Wild Card hunt and right on the Phillies’ heels for closing in on that second spot. Winning this series could help the Phillies get into one of those Wild Card spots, while potentially jumping the Nationals for second place in the division. 

One positive for the Phillies is that the bats came alive in the series finale against the Braves. The offensive barrage was headlined by home runs from Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, and JT Realmuto got in on the action by hitting a grand slam. The three stars need to get hot at the plate if the Phillies want to go on a run and get into place to see the field in October. Hopefully with the day off yesterday, it allowed the team some time off their feet to be fully ready to go come today’s game. Although the Giants have had a really good month of July, I still believe this is a series that the Phillies can win. 

Stats to keep an eye on 

  • The Giants have a road record of 29-24 this season. 
  • The Giants’ pitching staff ERA goes from 3.89 at home to 4.87 on the road. 
  • Rhys Hoskins is batting .276 with two home runs and five RBIs over his last seven games. 
  • 11 of Bryce Harper’s 18 home runs this season have come at home. 
  • Opponents are only batting .226 against Vince Velasquez at home this season.
  • Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Giants are 18-5 in July.