Aaron Nola will look to help stop the bleeding for the Phillies as the Cubs come to town. Photo by Wayne Terry, TPL.

The Phillies look like they are finding a groove. After winning the series against the Giants, the Phillies are now winners of three of their last four games. They look to continue their winning ways this weekend when they will host the Chicago White Sox for a weekend series. This is a good opportunity for the Phillies to stay hot as the White Sox have not been playing great baseball as of late. 

Probable Pitching Matchups 

Game one: Jason Vargas (6-5, 4.01 ERA) vs Ivan Nova (6-9, 5.23 ERA) 

Game two: Aaron Nola (9-2, 3.72 ERA) vs Ross Detwiler (1-1, 6.35 ERA)

Game three: Drew Smyly (2-5, 6.85 ERA) vs Reynaldo Lopez (5-9, 5.43 ERA) 

The new-look Phillies rotation will be in full effect this weekend. On Friday, we will see the debut of newly acquired Jason Vargas, and in the series finale, Drew Smyly will take the mound. Smyly will look to keep his momentum going as he has pitched very well since joining the Phillies. We will see a familiar face on the mound on Saturday as Aaron Nola will take the hill looking to break double digits in the win column for the third straight season. 

This is a series that the Phillies need to look to sweep. The White Sox are playing for pride at this point in the season, and have lost eight of their last ten games. Not to mention, none of the three pitchers they will put on the mound this weekend have winning records, and all have ERA’s above five. With the Phillies bats starting to come to life we could see an offensive spectacle from the Phillies in this series. 

Playoff Implications 

The Phillies’ recent hot play has got them back in the Wild Card picture and has them tied for second place in the division. Taking advantage of a poor team could allow the Phillies to be in sole possession of a Wild Card spot and be right on the heels of the Braves. Gaining ground on the Braves needs to be the number one focus of the Phillies because winning the division is something that can still happen.

In the second week of September, the Phillies and Braves will square off for the last time in a four-game series. If the Phillies can gain some ground in the division race, that series could dictate who is going to win the NL East this season. There is still a lot of baseball to played and the playoff picture is nowhere near set in stone. The Phillies need to come out and win at least two games this weekend to keep the dream of playing in October alive. 

Stats to keep an eye on 

  • JT Realmuto is batting .357 with 10 RBIs over his last seven games.
  • Jean Segura is batting .458 with a .500 OBP over his last seven games. 
  • Drew Smyly has only allowed one earned run and racked up 13 strikeouts over his last two starts. 
  • Ross Detwiler has a 14.29 ERA on the road this season. 
  • The White Sox had a record of 7-17 in July.