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On Tuesday night, two of the three current occupants of Wild Card spots in the National League will square off, as the Philadelphia Phillies host the San Francisco Giants. Philadelphia won the first game of this series on Monday night and will look to pick up another victory to help their cause at the top of the NL Wild Card standings. To do so, they will need to get the better of a pitcher that nobody in the league is familiar with.
The San Francisco Giants enter Tuesday night’s play at 65-60 on the season. That record is good enough for the third Wild Card place in the National League at this juncture, as the Giants are slightly ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, and Miami Marlins To remain there, though, they will rely on a pitcher who has never thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball when they take the field on Tuesday night.
That pitcher is Kyle Harrison, who will be making his MLB debut when he starts for the Giants against the Phillies in this game. Harrison is the number-one prospect for the Giants, and one of the top-ranked prospects in all of baseball at this point in time. As a result, expectations will be high for Harrison in the long run, though you never know what to expect from a pitcher getting their first taste of MLB action.
For Harrison, this is a difficult assignment, and not just because it is his first time pitching at the major league level. He is facing a dangerous Philadelphia offense, and taking on a very good starting pitcher in Taijuan Walker. Look for some early nerves for Harrison, and for the Giants to potentially be conservative with him in terms of the amount of innings they subject him to against Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in a distant second place in the NL East standings behind the Atlanta Braves. But they are at the top of the NL Wild Card standings, which would land them in the postseason if they could hold onto that spot. Going into this game, the Phillies have a huge experience edge on the mound, one they will look to take advantage of to strengthen their edge in the Wild Card race.
Taijuan Walker will get the start in this game for the Phillies, who already has 13 wins under his belt this season. His 4.03 ERA leaves something to be desired, but he is no stranger to pitching in big games against quality competition. That alone should put the Phillies in an advantageous position, as they take on a Giants team that lacks that kind of experience with their starting pitching tonight.
Offensively, look for the Phillies to be aggressive at the plate in this game against an inexperienced opponent. They have the power necessary to rattle Harrison early, which could then lead to erratic locations from the young pitcher. If the Phillies can get going early on the offensive side of things, they could run away with this game en route to a second straight victory over the Giants.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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