Halladay, Phillies battle MLB odds at Washington Nationals

By: Brad Young | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National League East rivals Philadelphia and Washington continue a three-game series with Wednesday’s matchup.

The Phillies ranked second in the majors entering Tuesday's games in scoring differential at +26, scoring a robust 59 runs while yielding just 33.  The Nationals have a -6 scoring differential, posting 37 runs while surrendering 42.

ESPN2 will provide coverage of Wednesday’s contest beginning at 4:05 p.m. PT from Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

Philadelphia gives the starting assignment to Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69 ERA) hoping he can continue his early season dominance.  The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner blanked the New York Mets Thursday as a 190 home ‘chalk,’ 11-0.

The veteran right-hander worked through seven innings on 113 pitches, 74 of them strikes, allowing six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.  The 11 runs eclipsed the 7 ½-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash his second straight start.

Halladay opened the season April 1 with a no-decision against Houston.  The 6-foot-6 hurler was reached for one run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts over six innings.  The 33-year-old was almost dealt the defeat until the Phillies rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Halladay dominated the Nationals last season in three starts, going a combined 23 innings while surrendering just one run on 16 hits with five walks and 20 strikeouts.  The Phillies won those three games by a combined score of 20-1.

Washington hurler John Lannan (1-0, 3.60 ERA) picked up a no-decision in Thursday’s matchup against Florida.  The Nationals eventually won that contest in 11 innings, 5-3, while the combined eight runs slithered ‘over’ the 7 ½-run closing total.  The ‘over’ has cashed in both of his starts this season.

The southpaw went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.  The Siena product threw 60 strikes during his 90-pitch effort.

Lannan started his season April 2 by beating Atlanta as a 124 home underdog, 6-3, while the combined nine runs went ‘over’ the 7 ½-run closing total.  The five-year veteran was reached for one run on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts over five innings.

Lannan went 0-3 against the Phillies last year in three starts, going a combined 14 1/3 innings, yielding 11 runs on 21 hits (two home runs) with five walks and six strikeouts.  The Nationals lost as a 183 home underdog, 11-1, a 161 home ‘dog, 6-4, and as a 192 home ‘dog, 8-0.  The ‘over’ cashed in all three matchups.  In fact, Washington is just 1-10 in Lannan’s past 11 starts versus Philadelphia.

The Phillies have seen the ‘over’ go 7-1-1 their last nine games overall.  Philadelphia has dominated this head-to-head series, posting a 39-13 record the past 52 matchups.

The Phillies conclude a six-game NL East road trip with Thursday’s contest.  Washington continues its six-game homestand with three games against Milwaukee.

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