In our last Phillies Betting Preview, I predicted the Phillies ace of the past few seasons, Aaron Nola, would dominate the Phils’ biggest rivals, the Atlanta Braves. Jarod Rupp, one of my colleagues at GTS that covers fantasy sports, called for the exact opposite and specifically recommended starting the Braves’ Austin Riley. Mr. Rupp couldn’t have been more correct, as Riley went yard twice off of Nola and the Braves won 8-5.
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Phillies (+115) vs. Braves (-140) O/U 8.5
After Friday night’s Phillies win, they stand with a 24-27 record, still in 4th-place and seven games behind the Braves. They try to make up a little ground today in the third game of the four-game series. The first pitch is 4:10 p.m.
Wheeler hasn’t been very sharp of late, going 1-3 in his last five starts with one no-decision. He’s pitched 30 1/3 innings in those starts, allowing 14 runs (12 earned), and ERA of 3.56 and a WHIP of 1.12. While his strikeout numbers are slightly decreased (8.9 K/9 last five, 10.11 K/9 season), his control has been better (1.19 BB/9 vs. 2.21 BB/9).
The venerable 13-year veteran Charlie Morton has similar numbers over his last five as well, with marks of 3-2, 30 innings pitched, 13 runs (all earned) allowed, with an ERA of 3.90 and a WHIP of 1.27. His last outing against the Dodgers was abysmal, pitching five innings but giving up seven hits and two walks which led to six earned runs. He also served up two long balls.
Over the last 10 games, both teams have been remarkably similar statistics. They have scored exactly 45 runs a piece, although the Braves have done it with a .255 batting average, compared to the .244 for the Phillies.
On the pitching side, the Braves have an ERA of 4.75, 88 hits, 92 strikeouts, and 32 walks with 15 home runs allowed. The Phillies have an ERA of 4.81 on 91 hits, 37 walks, 93 strikeouts, and allowing 13 homers.
As you can see, neither team is setting the world on fire with their current form. It’s frustrating as a Phillies fan when you see the opportunity to make up a little ground is available, yet the team is so inconsistent.
I don’t really see any value on either side, as I have already illustrated their remarkable similarities. A same-game parlay that does interest me, however, is taking both pitchers to have six or more strikeouts. If you ignore Morton’s first game of the season where he only recorded one strikeout, again, each pitcher is amazingly close. Morton’s K/9 (minus the first game) is 10.15 and Wheeler’s K/9 is sitting at 10.11. Wheeler has recorded six or more strikeouts in six of the ten games he’s started. Excluding the first start of the season, Wheeler’s punched out six or more in five of his eight starts.
Building a same-game parlay with these two wagers pays even money. While I know that the vigorish is a necessity in the world of sports wagering, I absolutely hate paying it and look to reduce if not eliminate it altogether. With both of these pitchers striking out six or more in over 50% of their starts, over the long haul this is a plus EV (Expected Value) scenario, and is what every sports handicapper strives for.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Same-Game Parlay of Zack Wheeler/Charlie Morton 6+ Ks +100 4 units
Run Line: 2-2 (+4 units)
O/U: 5-5 (+1 units)
Money Line: 4-2 (+1 units)
Prop Bets: 0-2 (-4 units)
Up 6 units (+$400)