In our last Phillies Betting Preview, my read on the Cubs’ Justin Steele was dead on, as he threw six shutout innings. Unfortunately for us, Taijuan Walker performed his Jekyll and Hyde routine, looking like the pitcher the Phillies were hoping for. Philadelphia won 2-1 and we lost our four-unit wager, bringing our season to +14 units.
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Diamondbacks (+170) vs Phillies (-200) O/U 8.5
The Arizona Diamondbacks visit the City of Brotherly Love with a 27-20 record and are in second place in the NL West. The Phillies are currently 22-24 and in fourth place in the NL East, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves.
The D-Backs Tommy Henry is the type of pitcher that makes me wish I would have been born left-handed because I could have definitely made the Major Leagues. He has a career record of 4-5 with a 5.23 ERA. Starting the season out in Triple-A, he “earned” his trip to the majors this season with a 1-0 mark with a 6.33 ERA.
In his five starts at Arizona this season, he’s pitched 27 innings, allowing 15 runs, all earned on 28 hits, 12 walks, and 13 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 1.48 and has served up four homers on a platter.
To make matters worse, he’s piled up these poor statistics against the Dregs on baseball. He allowed four runs his last time out against Oakland (10-38 .227 batting average). He’s also given up four runs to Kansas City (14-34 .228 BA).
He’s faced the Phillies once in his career, an 18-2 Phillies win where he gave up eight hits and seven runs in four innings of work.
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The Phillies Zack Wheeler has quietly become the Phillies ace. In each of his first 3 seasons for the Phils, he’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA. While that is probably not going to happen this year with it currently sitting a 4.06, it is the lowest on the team of full-time starters (Matt Strahm has a 2.73 ERA but has come out of the bullpen on five occasions).
Wheeler struggled a bit in his last outing in San Francisco, giving up nine hits that led to four runs and a 4-3. He did punch out eight batters in the time frame.
Wheeler could have his work cut out for him, as Arizona has a very potent offense. They rank sixth in the majors with 5.15 runs scored per game, fourth with a .266 batting average, and eighth with an OPS of .765.
I detest paying such high juice when betting on a heavy favorite. When I’m faced with a situation such as tonight, I look into the alternative markets to find a selection that pays close to even money or better.
Going through prop team bets, Philadelphia’s team total has a few choices. I’m selecting the Phillies team total of over 5.5 runs that pays +120 for 4 units. It’s quite possible that Philly gets all of the needed runs off of Henry, but even whenever they turn to the bullpen, that’s a unit that has an ERA of 4.39. When you add that relief to a starter with Henry’s stellar tools, 5.5 runs starts to seem on the light side.
I’m also going to place a 2-unit prop bet that Zack Wheeler is credited with the win. As a prop bet with Caesar’s sportsbook, it’s listed as -111, which is more than close enough to the desired juice of 10%.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Phillies Team Total OVER 5.5 runs +120 2-UNITS
Pick: Prop bet Zack Wheeler credited with Win -111 2-UNITS
Run Line: 2-1 (+6 units)
O/U: 5-3 (+5 units)
Money Line: 4-1 (+3 units)
Prop Bets: 0-1 (-2 units)
Up 14 units (+$1,400)