In yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, I expected both of the starting pitchers to be knocked around and the total to go over 9. It started out great, with the score 3-1 after three innings. But the way the Phillies are playing now, they can make any pitcher look like a Hall of Famer. In the 7th, the Phils had the bases jacked with only one out, but only scored two to tie it. In the end, we lost the over of nine runs as the final score was 4-3. Luckily, the highest Harper prop bet odds were +475, below the +500 mark, so we just lost the two units on the total.
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Diamondbacks (-110) vs Phillies (-110) O/U 8
In the series finale, Arizona sends RHP Zac Gallen (6-2 2.95) to do battle with the Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (0-1 10.50). The first pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.
Gallen is following up his impressive 2022 campaign with more of the same. In his 61 innings pitched, he’s allowed just 49 hits and 20 walks, while striking out 72. He’s surrendered just two home runs this season, which ties him for first place in HR/9 at a mere .3, meaning he gives up less than one home run in nine innings. He’s also 4th in National League in WHIP at 1.00.
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His counterpart for the Phillies is, what you could say, the polar opposite. he’s making just his third start of the season and he’s given up seven earned runs in six innings of work.
While many of his metrics are frightening to look at, there are two that give me a little hope that Suarez can turn his season around. First, his fastball velocity (93.5 mph) is still the same average speed as last season. This is an indicator that his health isn’t the issue.
Second, and more importantly, his BABIP is an astronomical .545. What this means is for all of the batted balls that land in fair territory, 54.5% of them are resulting in hits.
Baseball is a statistician’s dream, and BABIP is one of the advanced sabermetrics that is dictated by “regression of the means”, meaning that statistics that are much higher or lower than the league average will eventually move closer to the “means”, or middle. The league average for BABIP is .300, so by the end of the season, don’t be surprised if Suarez’s BABIP is about .350 or so.
At first glance, the odds that were set make no sense whatsoever. Gallen is having a Cy Young-type of season, whereas Suarez will lucky to be in the majors in another month. But upon further inspection, Gallen pitched twice against Philly in 2022. His trip to Citizens Bank Park was not a pleasant one, as he only lasted 1.2 innings. In that short outing, he did, however, give up seven hits, one walk, and two homers.
That can be the only logical reason because everything else points towards a Diamondbacks romp. In gambling, there’s a concept known as “paralysis by information”, where you can become overloaded with so much information that can support either side that you are rendered paralyzed and unable to make a decision.
The analysis is crucial to good handicapping, but you cannot let it overwhelm and hinder your ability to make an informed decision.
With that in mind, I’m electing to fade the team that is currently in shambles. Until Philadelphia can play consistent baseball, they’re going to be a tough team to back. With the state of their bullpen, I think the play to make is Arizona -1.5 runs at +150.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Arizona -1.5 runs +150 2 units
Run Line: 2-1 (+6 units)
O/U: 5-5 (+1 units)
Money Line: 4-1 (+3 units)
Prop Bets: 0-2 (-4 units)
Up 8 units (+$800)