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Series Preview: Nats at Phillies, June 4th - June 6th

Attendance returns to full capacity in Philadelphia this weekend as the Phillies host the Nationals in a three-game set beginning on Friday, June 4th.  

Announced last week, the city is easing nearly all of its COVID-19 related restrictions and the Phils will be able to host a full house for the first time since 2019.  

The Phillies are 2-1 against the Nats this season, having won their previous series in Washington during the month of May.  

With a home record of 15-10, the Phils have had success this year at Citizens Bank Park.  The Phillies are averaging 4.2 runs per games at home, compared to 3.7 runs per game on the road, heading into Monday.  The team also sports a 3.66 home ERA compared to their 4.71 mark on the road, prior to this week.

And we know that the Phillies are in the top three clubs to win the National League East. Their odds are definitely better now (+600) than they were a few months ago in February (+900). Maybe that's why the total revenue from both online and retail betting for those three months totaled $110 million! May numbers aren't out yet so that's just the sum of February-April. I always knew there was a big sports betting market in and around Pennsylvania but to see numbers like that, it's quite notable.

With this division rivalry set to spark up,>  we've got a rundown of the pitching match ups as well as several key statistics from this series...

Friday, 7:05PM.  Jon Lester (0-2 record, 4.91 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (4-2, 2.52 ERA).  In 12 regular season starts facing the Phillies, Lester sports a gleaming 8-1 record with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.  Lester notched a 5.92 ERA in five May starts this season.  JT Realmuto is 4-for-10 with a double and two home runs in his career when facing the lefty Lester.  In six home starts this season, Wheeler sports a 3-0 record with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP.  The right-handed Wheeler has a 6-11 record with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 21 career starts agains Washington.  Outfielder Juan Soto is 5-for-24 (.208 avg) with a HR in his career against Wheeler.

Saturday, 4:05pm.  Max Scherzer (4-4, 2.34 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (2-5, 4.10 ERA).  The righty Scherzer has a 2.86 ERA in five road starts this season.  In eight career starts at CBP, Scherzer has tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.  Rhys Hoskins is 0-for-17 in his career when facing the three-time Cy Young Award winning Scherzer.  Eflin has a 1-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in five home starts this year. Eflin allowed five earned runs in six innings during his previous starts against the Nats this season.  In 10 career starts against the Nats, Eflin has a 4-4 record with a 4.61 ERA.

Sunday, 1:05pm.  Joe Ross (2-4, 5.19 ERA) vs. Vince Velasquez (2-0, 2.95 ERA). Ross, a right-hander, has a 3.94 ERA through six road starts this season.  In six career appearance against the Phillies, Ross has a 2-0 record, a 3.21 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.  Jean Segura is 8-for-14 (.571 avg) with a walk in his career against Ross.  In nine career appearances (eight starts) in his career against Washington, Velasquez has recorded a 2-2 record with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.  Velasquez recorded a 1.11 ERA and a .146 batting average against in five May appearances this year.  

In 16 home contests this year, catcher JT Realmuto has recorded a .224 batting average with three home runs and 11 RBI.  Realmuto has a .695 career OPS against the Nats in 95 games.

Phils closer Hector Neris is off to a great start and could be having a career year.  Through 10 home appearances, the 31-year-old has a 0.82 ERA and a .135 batting average against.  Neris has a 3.59 career ERA against the Nats in 43 games.  Ryan Zimmerman is 0-for-10 in his career against Neris.

In 20 career games at CBP, Juan Soto is a .321 hitter with 10 home runs and 25 RBI.  

Shortstop Trea Turner is a .268 career hitter with 14 homers in 68 games against the Phillies.  Turner batted .412 in four games at CBP last year and was a .371 hitter overall in nine games against the Phils in 2020.

Heading into the weekend, the Nats and Phils were ranked 9th and 10th respectively in the National League in team ERA with Washington holding a 4.16 mark and the Phils sporting a 4.31 ERA.  

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