Phillies to face Kershaw in opener against Dodgers

Max Muncy was an All-Star for the first time in 2019. (Ian D’Andrea)

Maikel Franco’s walk-off home run in the ninth inning of Sunday’s win against the Nationals was a much needed confidence booster after a miserable weekend back from the All-Star Break. The Philadelphia Phillies (48-45) will need all the confidence they get can combined with timely hitting and good bullpen performances starting Monday as they welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-33) to Citizens Bank Park.

The Dodgers will send three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to the mound. While he is not the same lights-out pitcher the Phillies have had the privilege of facing over the years, Kershaw has managed to put together a very solid season so far. In just under 100 innings pitched, Kershaw has a 3.09 ERA and has picked up seven victories for his team. He will be opposed by right-hander Zach Eflin. Eflin will look to turn his fortunes around against a powerful lineup led by the league leader in fWAR, Cody Bellinger.

The Phillies bats have not gotten off to great a start in the second-half of the season, but that does not mean the Phillies can’t get to Kershaw tonight. Kershaw’s home-runs per nine innings and home run to fly ball ratios are as high as they have ever been in his career. If the Phillies can get a solid outing from Eflin and take advantage of a few hanging sliders from Kershaw and send them into the seats, they will give themselves a good chance to pull off the victory.

Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s game…

Phillies Starting Lineup

  1. Scott Kingery, center field
  2. Jean Segura, short stop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, catcher
  6. Jay Bruce, right field
  7. César Hernandez, second base
  8. Maikel Franco, third base
  9. Zach Eflin, pitcher

Dodgers Starting Lineup

  1. Joc Pederson, left field
  2. Alex Verdugo, center field
  3. Justin Turner, third base
  4. Cody Bellinger, right field
  5. Max Muncy, first base
  6. Corey Seager, short stop
  7. Enrique Hernandez, second base
  8. Austin Barnes, catcher
  9. Clayton Kershaw, catcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchups

  • Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78 ERA, 4.66 FIP, 4.79 xFIP) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 3.47 xFIP)
  • In two career starts against the Dodgers, Eflin has a 9.18 ERA, giving up 23 hits and 10 home runs in 16.2 innings of work.
  • Kershaw has pitched well against the Phillies in his career. In 14 starts, he has a 2.83 ERA, striking out 97 and giving up only six home runs.
  • Eflin Fangraphs Projected Line: 5.48 IP, 5.95 H, 1.27 HR, 1.86 BB, 4.09K
  • Kershaw Fangraphs Projected Line: 6.25 IP, 5.57 H, 1.03 HR, 1.37 BB, 6.39K

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Kershaw has gotten the best of Bryce Harper throughout his career. In 24 at-bats, Harper only has three hits including a home run, and 14 strikeouts. While the sample size may be smaller, Rhys Hoskins has had more relative success against the eight-time All-Star. In five plate appearances, he has two hits including a triple.
  • It has been a whirlwind for Eflin after getting off to a great start this season. He has a 9.64 ERA in his last three starts, giving up 15 earned runs in 14 innings.
  • Dodgers MVP candidate Cody Bellinger got off to an unprecedented start this season. Bellinger’s .434 average, 14 HR and 37 RBIs set the record for the highest triple crown statistics of any player in the first 30 games of the season. In that same stretch, he produced a 3.0 WAR, a higher WAR total than any Phillie has so far this season. J.T. Realmuto leads the way with a 2.9 WAR.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • First Pitch: 7:05
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia; ESPN (out-of-market only)
  • Sportsradio 94 WIP;  WTTM 1680 (Spanish)

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