Phillies Betting Preview: Harper ‘Rings the Bell’ for the Phillies

In yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, I called for Philadelphia to give Arizona SP Tommy Henry a rude welcome, as I expected the Phillies to score a plethora of runs. Instead, Henry looked like the top pitching prospect he once was, holding the Phillies to two runs on four hits in five and two-thirds and we dropped the Phillies team total over 5.5 runs. We lost the Wheeler prop bet as well, making it a tough day to swallow.

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Diamondbacks (+110) vs Phillies (-120) O/U 9

RHP Ryne Nelson (1-2 5.48) gets the starting nod for the visiting Diamondbacks as Philadelphia’s LHP Matt Strahm (4-3 2.73) takes the mound. The first pitch is set for 6:40 p.m.

After the D-Backs’ Ryne Nelson had late-season success after his call-up in September, big things were expected for the former second-rounder out of Oregon. However, in the first eight starts of his 2023 campaign, he held the opposing team under three runs just once.

He had an ERA of 6.20 heading into his ninth start at Oakland. But he pitched five and one-third innings of one-hit, shutout ball and began to look like the top prospect Arizona had envisioned.

His counterpart from the Phillies is being bumped up the rotation after LHP Bailey Falter was sent down to the minors. In his first season with the Phillies after coming over from the Boston Red Sox in the off-season, he has been both versatile and effective, having appeared in 11 games and starting six.

In his role as a starter, Strahm is 2-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. The starting role seems to suit him well, as many of his measurable sabermetric stats have seen improvements, such as K/9 (12.82), HR/9 (0.55), and WHIP (0.97), just to name a few.

Philadelphia just cannot seem to get any momentum rolling. After Sunday’s offensive explosion, I had thought that would get them moving in the right direction. Instead, Wheeler goes out and looks like anything but an ace.

The bats that were cracking on Sunday were noticeably quiet on Monday. Sure, they did hit back-to-back homers but against a pitcher that’s been as effective as Henry has (or more accurately hasn’t), solo homers just don’t cut it.

Philly fans are not known for their great patience and some are wondering if their acquisition of Trea Turner is already a bust. Everybody is wondering where the World Baseball Classic version of Turner is. Here are the six-game stats for the WBC: batting average-.391, 5 home runs, 6 runs scored, 11 RBIs, and on-base percentage-.440, OPS-1.483. His stats for the Phillies in 45 games played are slightly less impressive: batting average-.257, 4 home runs, 24 runs scored, 10 RBIs, slugging pct.-.390, OPS-.693.

While he was playing out of his mind in the WBC, his Philly numbers are much lower than they should be. However, since he’s a newly-acquired member of the Phils, it looks as though he’s pressing a bit, which makes breaking out of his slump more difficult.

&Embed from Getty ImagesOne player that isn’t in a slump is the Phillies’ Superman, Bryce Harper. Proving once again that he’s not mortal, his recovery time from Tommy John surgery to playing every day was a mere five months, less than half-the-usual 11 months it takes to return. Which makes his team-leading batting average of .306 so much more impressive.

I’m in the same situation that I was on Saturday when I couldn’t decide on a particular side. Neither team’s pitching jumps out at me, but what does is the offensive potential for each club. Because of this, I’m going to take the total OVER 9.5 runs for 2 units. I’m also going to take a look at Bryce Harper’s home run prop bet. If it’s +500 or higher, I’m going to put 1 unit on it.

Bets and Season Record

Pick: OVER 9 runs 2 units

Pick: Prop bet Harper home run (if +500 or higher) 1 unit

Season Record:

Run Line: 2-1 (+6 units)

O/U: 5-4 (+3 units)

Money Line: 4-1 (+3 units)

Total: 10-4 

Prop Bets: 0-2 (-4 units)

Up 14 units (+$1,000)

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Joey House, Philadephia Editor
Joey House, Philadephia Editor
Sports have always been a part of Joey's life. He grew up in a Penn State household and became a Phillies and Eagles fan the same year, 1980. Not just because of their runs to their championship games, but because all his friends were either Harold Carmichael or Pete Rose on the playground. Gambling came later, as he was anointed with the moniker "House" because he ran all of the gambling and poker operations on his Navy ship. Now he brings over 25 years of gambling activity, both from the bettor's and "bookies" perspective, to help you maximise both your financial and entertainment returns.

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