The Fightin Phils dispatched the Binghamton Mets with ease in the first round of the Eastern League playoffs, setting them up for a 5 game series with the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) for the championship.
Game 1 (@Reading): Zach Eflin
Game 2 (@Reading): Ethan Martin
Game 3 (@Bowie): Jake Thompson
Game 4 (@Bowie): Ben Lively
Game 5 (@Bowie): TBD
Reading inserts Ethan Martin back into the rotation where he has been good of late with a slight uptick in velocity (90-92 T94). The move also gives an extra day of rest to Jake Thompson (who was only going to pitch in one game anyway) after his long shutout last series. Around those two, Zach Eflin was good in his start after he settled in and Ben Lively gives the Fightins a chance to compete when he is on the mound.
Reading appears to be going with the same positional group as the last series, which leaves them with an incredibly dangerous lineup. They pick up the DH this series which means someone like Art Charles or Brain Pointer augments the lineup. Bowie will likely have a lefty on the mound in Games 1 and 2, which does hurt Reading some with Crawford, Williams, Knapp, Stassi, and Cozens all stronger vs RHPs. This will put a lot of pressure on Cameron Perkins who looks to be rounding back into shape after a rough end of the year (around injuries).
Shackleford is still an adventure at closer but the rest of the bullpen is extremely solid for the Phils. Cordero was shaky last night out but showed nasty stuff and Ramos, Windle, Roibal, and O’Sullivan can keep games close. In general Reading is going to really run their starters as long as they can go because it is the end of the season so the bullpen shouldn’t be that taxed in the series.
This is an extremely tough series for Bowie because Reading is red hot right now. For Reading, it is really simple, if they play the way they have the Eastern League title is theirs.