Phillies and Joe Blanton? Shoot, I previewed this exact match-up two weeks ago. You can check it out here.
The Phillies are skidding at bit, having lost 6 of their last 8. Carlos Ruiz is back, and Scott Eyre is back to being the guy who can't find the strikezone. Other than that, I don't have much to add.
So with that, on to the...
Season Record: 21-11
Lannan's strung together some nice starts and has his ERA down to 3.89. He's elevated his groundball tendencies to new heights, generating 58.2% on balls in play this year. Still, his fielding independent ERA has always been higher than his actual ERA because he's consistently had a lower-than-expected BABIP. This year is no exception, as he's got a .289 BABIP so far, which is low especially for a groundballer. But you gotta wonder if maybe in his case for some reason he's able to sustain a lower-than-normal BABIP? He's got a career 17.9% line-drive rate, which would rate among the best in baseball most years. This year, that number is down at 16.4%.
This honestly is a tough game for me to call. The Phillies are a so much better team, but they're slumping. Lannan always seems like he should be a good match-up for the lefty-heavy Phils, but his numbers don't really bear that out, as he has a 6.23 ERA against them career. Then there's the matter of Joe Blanton's terribleness, countered by the Scats' bullpen. I just don't have a real good feel for this one.
I'll say the Phillies take it by beating up on our 'pen again, something like 7-5.