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Phillies vs. Dodgers Series Preview

After a second straight loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies found themselves 3.5 games back from the New York Mets and sliding at the worst possible time. The fan base was down on the players and management, arguing they didn't do enough moves at the trade deadline.

All it took was a thrashing of the same Pirates team on Sunday to jump start the best Phillies stretch in a decade. The Phillies swept the Nationals in DC and then proceeded to sweep the Mets to take over the division lead.

If you want to read more about said Mets series, check out AJ Chassan's article recapping the Mets series.

Now, the Phillies will continue this home stand with a 3 game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers boosted their already strong team at the trade deadline, acquiring Trea Turner and Max Scherzer in a blockbuster trade with the Nationals. LA is currently 2nd Place in the NL West, 4.0 Games back from the Giants as this is being written.

Game 1 the Phillies will see Scherzer, who is holding a 2.75 ERA with a 9-4 record this season. Scherzer made his first start as a Dodger last Wednesday against the Astros, pitching 7.0 innings while giving up 2 earned runs and striking out 10. The Phillies struggled against Scherzer the last time they faced him, in his last start as a Washington National. The Phillies will send Aaron Nola to the mound to face LA, holding a 4.49 ERA with a 7-6 record this season. Nola really struggled throughout the first half of the season, but has picked it up in his last 3 starts. Aaron pitched pretty well his last time out in Pittsburgh, but got little run support which hurt him in the end. This game is set for 7:05 on Tuesday, and the biggest news is that I will be in attendance for the game! It definitely will be nice to be at the bank again, especially now that many more fans should be there.

Game 2 sees a very intriguing pitching matchup, with the Dodgers sending out David Price to face Kyle Gibson. Price spent a lot of this year injured, but is 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA this year. He has been operating more as an opener than an actual starter this season. Gibson was the Phillies big deadline acquisition, and has been pretty good in his few starts with the Phillies. Gibson is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his time with the Phillies, making starts against the Pirates and Mets this weekend. Although he has been solid, the Phillies need to get to Price early in this game so the Dodgers can dip into their bullpen and Gibson has some leeway. Assuming Scherzer goes deep into Game 1, we will need a game where the Dodgers can exhaust their bullpen arms so it will make Game 3 a bigger struggle. I expect a win here, and the Phillies should probably be expected to win. Game time is also 7:05 for this game.

By Game 3 the Phillies could be in many situations. They could be trying to win their 11th straight game and a sweep of one of the best teams in the National League, or they could be trying to get a series win. The pitching matchup definitely tilts the Dodgers direction, with Julio Urias on the mound for LA and Ranger Suarez(projected, has not been announced by the team. Urias has been pretty up and down this season, but as of late has been one of the most reliable starters, bolstering a 13-3 record with a 3.40 ERA. Suarez will be heading into his 3rd start with the team, not really being entirely impressive so far in the rotation. Although I didn't expect him to be balling out this early, it still is concerning to see him struggle like he did against the Mets on Saturday. Luckily, JD Hammer came in and bridged the gap for Suarez, but his performance should not be forgotten. This will be a big start for Ranger, and I hope he can show us more then he has so far. This game will start at 1:05, as the Dodgers will be travelling to New York the next day for a series against the Mets.

Overall, with how the Phillies have been playing, I should expect a series win. But considering this is the Dodgers, I'll take even just one win out of this and hope you do not lose too much ground in the division. Obviously I'd love to see a series win or even a sweep to keep the winning streak going, I just don't want to get my expectations up too high.

Regardless, this has been an incredible streak for the city and the Phillies fans who have stuck by the team for the past decade, even with the struggles. Let's keep it going on Tuesday!

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