The Phillies and Nationals kick off the final week of their seasons with the first of a four-game set in the nation’s capital Monday night. The Phils will close out with the Rays in Tampa in a traditional three-game series this coming weekend, while the Nationals will finish up with the Mets in another four-gamer, jamming eight games in over these next seven days.

A Phight To The End

The Phillies took three of four from the Blue Jays this past weekend but failed to complete the sweep, losing in the series finale on Sunday. They enter Monday night as the 7th seed in the 8-team playoff picture in the National League but hold a slim half a game lead over the Brewers, Reds, and Giants.

Every. Game. Matters. And if the Phillies end up on the outside looking in, it’ll be because of the untimely injury bug and the worst bullpen in the bigs.

Playing out the String

After losing six of eight, the Nationals salvaged Sunday’s double-header in a big way, pounding five home runs en route to a 15-0 shellacking of the Marlins. Too little, too late, however, for the defending World Series champions, who are all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason. The Nats are six back with eight to go.

Phillies/Nationals Betting Lines

MyBookie has the Phillies as the favorites (-155) on Monday night with an over/under of 8.5 runs. The Phils are still laying the juice on the run line (-1.5) at -120.

Free Betting Pick

The Phillies have positioned their rotation as best they can for the final week of the season. They’ll use both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola twice, beginning with Wheeler in the opener with the Nats. They’ll also avoid both Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin for the entire series. 

Philly hopes to have JT Realmuto back soon, but it won’t be Monday. Bryce Harper should be good to go after leaving Sunday with back stiffness. But as noted, the injury bug has not been fair to this club down the stretch, as players like Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Alec Bohm, Jay Bruce, and Scott Kingery have also been affected.

All bets are off if Wheeler has to hand the ball to the pen before the 7th inning, but this is why the Phils paid him handsomely in the offseason. Philly looks to remain perfect against the Nats this season (6-0 entering Monday), and we think they can.

Knup Sports Free Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -150 over Washington Nationals