The Giants head to Philadelphia after sweeping the Braves in Atlanta over the weekend. Sunday saw them ride a strong start by Andrew Suarez (5.1IP, 6K, 0ER) and some timely hitting from Pablo Sandoval, Nick Hundley, and Andrew McCutchen before holding off a late charge in the ninth to take a 4-3 win, their fourth in a row.
The Phillies return home after a brutal 2-4 road trip that saw them drop two of three in Miami and Washington. Last night they ran into a monster day from Max Scherzer as he struck out 15 in just 6.1 innings. Once he was gone the Phillies bats started to get to work, but there was just too much to do as the bullpen struggled to contain Washington's offense. Hector Neris ended up blowing a 4-3 lead in the ninth as first on on a walk and then a single as the Phillie fell 5-4.
Jeff Samardzija (RHP) Vs. Zach Eflin (RHP)
There could hardly be a bigger experience gap between two starters. Samardzija has started 198 games over 11 years while Eflin is starting just his 24th game in the Majors.
Samardzija has struggled in his first three starts this year, posting a 5.27 ERA and averaging barely 4.2 innings per start. Conversely, Eflin has had a solid start to the year. In his first outing, against the Marlins, he went six innings allowing just one run on a solo homer and striking out four.
That start does not speak to the rest of Eflin's career though. His 5.66 career ERA is worrying to say the least, and while he is only 24, the Phillies will want to see more consistently strong performances from him this year, starting by keeping one of the lighter lineups in the league in check.
|Giants Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Phillies Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who's hot, who's not
The Giants come into today with a few players hitting well. Buster Posey has 14 hits over the last two weeks, giving him a .368 average over that time span, while Evan Longoria has found his power stroke of late and mashed four homers in the last two weeks.
While those two have been powering things though, the likes of Gregor Blanco (.209 average) have been struggling. The Giants have averaged 6.6 runs a game in their last eight games though. The offense is ticking nicely right now.
The Phillies have their share of hot hitters too. Maikel Franco has four homers, nine RBI, and a .333 average in the last two weeks, while Odubel Herrera has a pair of dingers and a .326 average. They are also carrying some dead weight right now though. Rhys Hoskins is in a cold spell, hitting just .224 in the last two weeks, with Carlos Santana really struggling so far this season posting just a .169/.299/.339 slash line so far in his first year away from Cleveland.
It's a tough one to pick. The Giants are unquestionably a hotter team, and after a day's rest both Posey and Longoria should be back in the lineup, but Samardzija could easily put them in a hole early. I'll go with some home cooking for the Phillies to fix what ails them, with Eflin laying down a reasonable start against a San Francisco lineup that could quickly cool off. Phillies win 5-3.
The game will be broadcast live by NBC SBA and C SP, as well as streamed live on MLB.tv for out of market subscribers. It is also MLB.tv's free game of the day. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET.