In the last Phillies Betting Preview, I called for the Phillies’ “ace-in-theory” Aaron Nola to stop the Phillies bleeding against their arch-rivals, the Mets. They even grabbed a short lead with 3B Edmundo Sosa hit his 4th homer of the year. Then Nola gave up a 2-run homer to the blazing-hot LF Mark Canha and two more runs the next inning. Unable to muster any reply, they (and we) dropped another game/wager.
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Phillies (-180) vs. Nationals (+152) O/U 8.5
The Philadelphia Phillies enter their last leg of a brutal 10-game road trip against the NL East, finishing up with a 3-game set in the nation’s capital. RHP Zack Wheeler (4-4 3.60) takes the hill for the visiting Phillies and will square off against the Nationals RHP Josiah Grey (4-5 2.77). The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Zack Wheeler will be the starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday evening. Coming off a strong performance in his previous start against the Braves, Wheeler delivered eight shutout innings and earned a well-deserved win. In the last month, he maintained an impressive 3.34 ERA, and for the season, he holds a 3.60 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with a 4-4 record over 65 innings pitched. Wheeler had success against the Nationals last season, limiting them to just one run in two outings. In his career, he has faced the Nationals 28 times, posting a 4.31 ERA and a 10-14 record.
After a mixed performance against the Braves, winning two out of four games, the Phillies suffered a three-game sweep by the Mets earlier this week. Inconsistencies in hitting have plagued the team, contributing to their struggles in reaching the .500 mark. However, despite these obstacles, the Phillies are still within striking distance of the Braves and currently trail by just four games in the NL Wild Card race. The team remains determined to overcome their hitting woes and make a strong push for a playoff spot.
The Washington Nationals have opted for Josiah Gray as their starting pitcher for the upcoming game. Gray’s recent performance against the Royals was decent, conceding two runs in four innings, leading to a no-decision despite the Nationals ultimately securing the victory. Throughout this season, the young pitcher has been experiencing a breakout performance, consistently allowing two or fewer runs in all but two of his outings. So far, Gray has accumulated an impressive 2.77 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP across 61.2 innings pitched, resulting in a 4-5 record. However, it should be noted that Gray has faced challenges when playing against the Phillies, as he has recorded a 5.40 ERA over 25 career innings against them.
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The Phillies’ inconsistency this season has been infuriating. Just when it looked like they were going to turn things around after winning the middle two games in Atlanta, they get shelled in the series finale. Limping into New York trying to lick their wounds, they instead get swept away like yesterday’s garbage.
However, as bad as things are, a little perspective is needed. Last year on June 2nd, they were 22-29 and 12.5 games behind the NL-leading Braves. They caught fire in June, scoring 146 runs and finishing the month 19-8.
Over the last 10 games, while only going 3-7, their pitching hasn’t been horrible, with an ERA of 4.71. If you remove the outlier game where they surrendered 11 runs it drops to 4.27, below the league average of 4.35.
I’m focusing on three different wagers for tonight’s tilt. First, I like the Phillies on the run line. 16 of their 25 victories have been by 2 or more runs and I see that as the scenario tonight. Taking FanDuel’s -1.5 run line at -104 almost eliminates the hated vig.
My second pick is the under of 8.5. Wheeler owned the Nats last year, going 2-0 and posting a 0.75 ERA. While his win-loss record isn’t stellar, his other metrics are impressive. With the Phillies struggling to score runs, I can see this as a 4-1 or 4-2 game in Philadelphia’s favor.
Lastly, I’m taking Wheeler to have over 5.5 strikeouts at -140. He has collected six or more strikeouts in five of his last seven outings and seven of his 11 starts on the season.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Phillies -1.5 run line -104 (FanDuel) 2 units
Pick: Phillies-Nationals O/U 8.5 +100 2 units
Pick: Zack Wheeler over 5.5 strikeouts -140 (DraftKings) 2 units
Run Line: 2-3 (+1 units)
O/U: 5-5 (+1 units)
Money Line: 4-2 (+1 units)
Prop Bets: 1-3 (-2 units)
Up 7 units (+$700)