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2020 Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (8-9) at Boston Red Sox (6-17)


After a 12-game homestand, the Philadelphia Phillies are back on the road for the first time since Aug. 3. They’ll be playing only their second true road game of the season Tuesday night. According to the baseball odds here, the Phillies opened as -130 favorites against the Red Sox for the game. Odds for tomorrow’s game will be updated late tonight or early tomorrow. 

Bryce Harper has a .950 OPS in eight career games at Fenway Park. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

At 8-9, the Phillies enter this series coming off a weekend sweep against the New York Mets. They enter the evening in third place in the National League East, but just two-and-a-half games out of first place. 

“I think our starting pitching has been really good. I think the fight in our offense and the ability to come back has been really good and it seemed like we had some sense of finding where guys work in the bullpen which I am really encouraged about,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after Sunday’s 6-2 win to the collective media including Phillies Nation’s Destiny Lugardo and Tim Kelly. “You need everyone to contribute but everyone kind of did their job this weekend and that is encouraging as well. 

The Phillies are coming off their best series of the season. The Phillies offense exploded, but it was the team’s pitching that stood out the most. As noted by Phillies Nation’s Jonny Heller, the Phillies pitching staff posted a 3.00 ERA during the Mets series. The bullpen itself posted a 2.79 ERA in 9 2/3 innings pitched. That brings down the Phillies bullpen ERA on the season to 8.77. 

The Red Sox are coming off a four-game sweep by the Yankees. Boston has seen their problems early in the season as they have lost eight straight. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers have taken a set back within the Red Sox offense as well. 

Shibe Vintage Sports Probable Pitchers

  • Game 1: RHP Zach Eflin (0-1, 3.60 ERA and 3.34 FIP) vs RHP Zack Godley (0-2, 8.16 ERA and 6.97 FIP) 
  • Game 2: RHP Jake Arietta (1-2, 4.02 ERA and  3.39 FIP) vs LHP Kyle Hart (0-1, 22.20 ERA and 16.64 FIP)

Despite taking the loss against the O’s, Zach Eflin put up another consistent outing and his first career double-digit strikeout performance. Eflin recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts over six innings and showed great command of his sinker. When on, Eflin’s sinker can be one of the best in MLB. 

“I think just being aggressive and getting ahead of guys,” Eflin told the media following his last start Wednesday. “Throwing my sinker in and sinker away and kind of just working off of that. I just have felt really consistent this year being in bullpens and having catch with everything. It feels like the puzzle has come together for me.” 

Arrietta, who will start Wednesday’s matinee, will look for a bounce-back start. The former NL Cy Young Award-winner only lasted 4 2/3 innings as he gave up four runs on seven hits.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Bryce Harper extended his on-base streak to 17 games to begin the season in Sunday’s 6-2 win against the Mets. 
  • Jake Arietta is 2-4 with a 4.69 ERA in nine games (eight starts) against the Red Sox in his career. He is 2-2 with a 4.45 ERA when pitching at Fenway Park.
  • Joe Girardi has a 95-93 all-time managerial record against the Red Sox. 
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. is tied for the MLB lead among outfielders in outs above average (4).

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • Game One: Tuesday at 7:30 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and Sportsradio 94 WIP 
  • Game Two: Wednesday at 1:35 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and Sportsradio 94 WIP 

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