NL Match-up of the Day: Arizona Diamondbacks at …

The NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies (78-41) host the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (68-53) for Game 1 of a 3-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Tonight’s match-up features one of the hottest teams in baseball in the Arizona Diamondbacks, who enter the series on a 6-game winning streak. However they’ll have a tough mountain to climb to get over an 7-game road skid against the Phillies, not to mention having to get past one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Tonight’s pitching match-up features Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51 ERA) against Josh Collmenter (7-7, 3.51 ERA), in another featured match-up pairing a dominant veteran against a rookie with plenty of potential.

Roy Halladay will be shooting for a most impressive 16th win of the year, tops in the National League, while also looking to secure a 6th consecutive season with 16 or more victories. Halladay also holds an impressive home record over the last ten games, seeing his Phillies win each game while himself posting a 7-0 record with a 2.01 ERA. Halladay has had ownership over the Diamondbacks in his career, coming off a complete game 7-1 win on July 28th, and sporting a 3-0 record with a 2.61 ERA lifetime against the Dbacks.

Josh Collmenter on the other hand has something to prove on the road tonight, coming off a terrible road stretch which has found him 0-3 with a 7.08 ERA in his last 4 road starts. Collmenter’s confidence does get a little boost coming off 7 inning performance with 2 runs allowed in a 6-3 win over Houston last Wednesday, however Philadelphia lies at the other end of the spectrum from the Astros, and a victory this evening will be much harder to come by against the top team in the MLB.

Betting Lines for Philadelphia vs. Arizona:

WagerWeb Sportsbook finds the Phillies as a -245 favorite for the game, based on the prior history of these two teams, Roy Halladay on the mound, and Philadelphia’s dominance at home over the league this year.

Arizona comes in as a +205 underdog, which could yield a fair bit of cash for the risk taker should Arizona continue its hot streak tonight.
On the spread, Philadelphia looks to be a good wager giving up 1.5 runs at -110, while Arizona gets 1.5 runs at -110 as well. The over/under for the match-up stands at 7 runs (over -115, under -105).

Players to Watch, Philadelphia:

Hunter Pence, RF – While Pence comes off a bit of a slow week, he’s hitting .348 for the month of August with 3 homers and 10 RBI. He’s hitting .364 against Arizona this year, and should be a factor at home behind Ryan Howard in the batting order.

Shane Victorino, CF – Victorino has been doing a fantastic job getting on base for the Phillies this season, scoring 74 runs in 92 games played while posting a .313 batting average on the year. He’s hitting .383 (18 for 47) in August with 3 homers, 4 RBIs and an impressive 12 runs scored. Look for this guy to be rounding third base and headed for home at least once this evening against the rookie Collmenter.

Players to Watch, Arizona:

Justin Upton, RF – It goes without saying the Upton is one of the main reasons Arizona is atop the NL West, and riding a 6-game winning streak. He’s hitting .542 with 3 homers and 7 RBIs during that span, but will need to pick up his production against a Phillies’ team he’s struggled against this season, hitting just .182 (2 for 11).

Ryan Roberts, 3B – Hitting .318 for the month of August, Roberts has been a steady contributor to the Dbacks lineup, with 3 multi-hit games during the 6-game winning streak. With little power in the Arizona lineup this season, small-ball is the key to Arizona’s success, and Roberts will need to continue his hitting into this 3-game series.

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