The Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants will play the last of a four-game series with the Phillies looking for the split on Sunday Night Baseball. The Giants won Saturday behind a strong pitching performance from Jeff Samardzija, who went eight innings, allowing only two hits and one run. Evan Longoria and Kevin Pillar both had homers for the Giants in the win.
Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.41 ERA) will take the mound for Philadelphia opposing Conner Menez (0-1, 5.73 ERA). Arrieta will be looking to return to form as he has gone six straight starts without a win. He did pitch the first four innings in the Phillies’ 10-2 win over the Giants last week. Menez will be making his third career start.
The game is a pick ’em with both teams at -105, and the over/under is 9.
Phillies Fading in Wild Card Chase
The Phillies have fallen out of the Wild Card spot and now sit 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot. An even bigger problem is now they have to leapfrog three teams as the red-hot Mets and Cardinals are now ahead of them, and the Nationals and Brewers would go to the playoffs if they started today. The Phillies have lost four of their last five to drop their record to 60-57 and 26-31 away from home.
Arrieta is 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants. His last quality start was nine starts ago against Washington. Since the All-Star break, Arrieta has a WHIP of 1.38 and an ERA of 3.28.
Philadelphia hitters have never faced Menez. The Phillies are led by Rhys Hoskins’ 24 homers and Jean Segura’s .283 average. On the season, they have hit lefties better for a team OPS of .755 compared to .731 against righties.
The Phillies have Jay Bruce on the IL.
Giants Hanging On To Slim Playoff Chances
San Francisco comes in at 58-60 and 27-32 at home. They sit four games out of the last Wild Card spot.
Menez has been just okay in his first two starts. His WHIP is only 1.27, but he has given up four homers in only 11 innings.
Giants hitters have struggled against Arrieta in the past. They have a team OPS of .540 in 154 plate appearances. Kevin Pillar is 4 for 11 with a double, and Pablo Sandoval and Evan Longoria each have hit a homer off of the former Cy Young award winner. Alex Dickerson, who is currently on the IL, was the Giants’ hottest hitter after the All-Star break with an OPS of 1.211 in 41 at-bats.
San Francisco has Shaun Anderson, Steven Duggar, Johnny Cueto, and Dickerson on the injured list.
A pick ’em line with Arrieta on the mound against a rookie who gives up too many homers tells you what kind of season he is having. I do think this lackluster Giants offense will allow Arrieta to have his first quality start in almost two months. The Phillies need a win, and their talent should be the difference. I am on the Phillies at -105.