The Philadelphia Phillies ended their losing streak and the Arizona Diamondbacks demonstrated their good start to the season is not going to let up any time soon on a busy Saturday of action in MLB.
The Philadelphia Phillies have simply not been having a good season.
Maybe this is due to the disappointment of not winning the World Series last season or the fact that Bryce Harper has missed the majority of their games so far in this, only returning recently.
They came into Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs on a five-game losing streak, needing something to go their way so they could get back on track.
Aaron Nola provided just the spark they needed, pitching 7.0 strong innings, while allowing two earned runs and recording 10 strikeouts.
This was easily one of his better outings this season, as Nola had really struggled coming into this game.
He wasn’t the only one who looked impressive on Saturday though, as the Phillies finally got their offense going, smashing the Cubs for 12 runs in what was ultimately a 12-3 win.
For reference, during the Phillies’ losing streak, they mustered a total of 11 runs during this stretch, so it’s easy to see how much they were struggling.
By no means are the Phillies back to the level of play they had last season, but this win felt like a confidence booster of sorts, considering how bad things had gone over the previous week.
They will certainly need more outings like the one Nola had as he is supposed to be their “ace”, but hasn’t shown that for most of this season.
The Phillies will be hoping this is just the start as they look to can quickly turn their season around.
Philadelphia are available at odds of +2800 to win the World Series, +1400 for National League success, +1100 to finish top of the NL East division and +100 to make the playoffs.
For years the NL West has been dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This year is starting to shape up differently and as of right now, the San Diego Padres are not the team chasing.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the surprises this season, currently sitting just 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West.
The Diamondbacks are now 26-20 on the season, the third best in the NL, after picking up a 4-3 win on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Their success has primarily come from what has been the eighth-best offense in terms of total runs - averaging 5.08 runs per game.
The only real concern at the moment is their pitching, which ranks 22nd in team ERA at 4.62.
If they can improve their pitching, the Diamondbacks are certainly going to hang with the Dodgers for the remainder of the season and challenge for their first division title since 2011.
If they don’t win the division, they can certainly make some noise in the Wild Card race and make a postseason appearance for the first time since 2017.
In what has been a great season so far, the Diamondbacks are on offer at +5000 to win the World Series and +2500 to win the National League, while they are listed at +1100 to top the NL West division and +165 to make the playoffs.