In yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, the underdog Cubs cashed our money line ticket with a strong performance by Marcus Stroman. Sadly, the Phillies’ pitching remains mired in their slump and they didn’t pull their end of the deal, giving up 10 runs to kill the under. What makes that wager even tougher to swallow is the fact that three of those runs were unearned. It’s incredibly difficult to handicap for errors. Stroman pitched six strong innings as I predicted but only registered 4 strikeouts, killing our alt-prop bet.
Cubs (+140) vs Phillies (-165) O/U 9
To say that Taillon has struggled for the Cubs would be like saying Michael Jordan was O.K. at basketball. In his last seven starts dating back to last year, he has given up less than three runs only once (he threw five shutout innings against the Dodgers on April 15th). He’s pitched 24 1/3 innings in which he has given up 19 runs (18 earned) on 30 hits, with seven walks and 26 Ks in his first season with the Cubs. I guarantee the front office is wondering where the guy who went 14-5 with a 3.91 ERA last season is.
The Phil’s Aaron Nola has had his own struggles, allowing home runs in his last five outings. What is a little disturbing with Nola’s numbers is his strikeout rate has significantly dropped. His K/9 rate coming into the season was 10.11.
Through the first nine starts of this season, it’s only 6.95. In comparing the first nine starts of last year to this year, he’s thrown his fastball 6.6% less this season than last, instead going with his cutter more. Whatever the reason, it’s not working so far.
Philadelphia is playing very poor baseball right now. Besides losing their last five games, they are just 5-10 in the month of May. In that span, their team batting average is .231, 25th in the MLB. They have only hit 12 home runs, 27th out of 30 MLB teams.
Their pitching has been equally as bad, with a team ERA of 5.36, 26th in the majors. The average velocity on their fastball has only been 92.4 mph, dead last in all of baseball.
Taillon has not fared well against the Phillies. In his last start here in 2021 with the Yankees, he only recorded one out in his start, giving up five hits and four runs, all earned. In all, he’s pitched in Citizens Bank three different times, allowing four runs, and five runs, and his first start here was a shutout back in 2017.
To be perfectly honest, I cannot decide which team to back here. Tallion has been awful for the Cubs, but the Phillies are quite inept at the moment.
I think the safest choice is the over. I don’t expect the Cubs to score another ten runs, but I certainly don’t expect the Phillies to only put up one today. I see this game being in the vicinity of 6-5 or 7-6. All of which are well north of the total of nine.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: OVER 9 -110 3 UNITS
Run Line: 2-1 (+6 units)
O/U: 4-3 (+2 units)
Money Line: 4-0 (+7 units)
Prop Bets: 0-1 (-2 units)
Up 15 units (+$1,300)