The Philadelphia Phillies return home Monday to play host to the Detroit Tigers in a series where surprisingly the Tigers enter with a nearly identical win percentage as the Phillies.
Detroit Tigers vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-240, 8.5)
The Tigers are in a tie for second place in the American League Central with the Cleveland Guardians thanks in large part to the division being down as it is but also a bullpen that is 12th in the league in ERA.
That bullpen will be on call with the start on Monday going to Joey Wentz, who has a 7.28 ERA with 1.7 home runs per nine innings allowed, but his fielding independent of 5.16 says he’s had some tough luck this season.
Opponents are hitting .351 on balls in play against Wentz and .312 overall this season, some of the highest marks in the league for any pitcher with at least five starts this season.
Fortunately for Wentz, he gets to face a Phillies team that prior to its 11-run outburst on Sunday had the second-fewest home runs in the National League the past 35 days and was 25th in the league on on-base plus slugging in that span.
The Tigers' offense also has its warts, entering having scored three runs or fewer in four straight games and Detroit is the only team in the league without anyone on the roster that has hit at least seven home runs this season.
Overall, the Tigers are 28th among MLB teams in on-base plus slugging, 27th in total home runs, and are last in the league in runs per game on the road with less than 3.4 runs per game.
On the other side, Phillies starter Aaron Nola enters Monday having allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. He also has a 4.70 ERA on the season, which is on pace to be his worst since 2016.
Nola has always pitched better at home than on the road, registering a career 3.21 ERA with a 4.6 strikeout-to-walk rate at home compared to a 4.13 ERA and a 3.8 strikeout-to-walk rate on the road.
With the Phillies’ bullpen posting a 2.28 ERA the past 30 days, the third-best mark in the league in that span, a pair of pitchers going through struggles will sort them out for a low-scoring Monday duel.
The Play: Tigers vs. Phillies Under 8.5