In yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, I called for the Phillies and Diamondbacks to go over the total of 10. This is why so many people like to bet the over because it can be won well before the game is decided, like yesterday when the D-Backs tied the game at 5-5 in the 4th. I knew we were golden since MLB games can no longer end in a tie (the last one was between the Pirates and Cubs on September 29, 2016). Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the Phillies, who blew a 5-1 lead and lost 9-8.
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Phillies (-155) vs Diamondbacks (+125) O/U 9
Wheeler has been like Jykell and Hyde, with an impressive 2.93 home ERA and a less-than-stellar 5.18 road mark. Wheeler’s previous encounter with the Diamondbacks in May resulted in him conceding four runs, three of which were earned.
While the Phillies’ offensive production does experience a decline on the road, the drop-off is less pronounced. Encouragingly, the team’s lineup is currently enjoying optimal health, as good as it can be at any point in the season, and they are about to face an underwhelming pitching staff. Additionally, the recent addition of Trea Turner has injected some life into their batting lineup. Surprisingly, despite the abundance of talent scattered throughout their roster, the team ranks 21st in runs scored per game and 20th in home runs hit. However, they still hold respectable positions, ranking 11th in batting average, 16th in on-base percentage, and 13th in slugging. Although the Phillies’ offensive performance has been underwhelming thus far, they look like they are coming alive. Over the past two seasons, including yesterday’s loss, the Phillies own the second-best record in baseball during the month of June, going 26-12.
Arizona has established dominance this season, holding the top spot in the NL West and sharing the lead in the entire National League. The team’s strength lies in its formidable offense, ranking fourth in runs per game. One of the standout contributors to this offensive prowess is rookie Corbin Carroll. With a remarkable .308/.389/.579 slash line, 19 successful stolen bases out of 21 attempts, 13 home runs, and 47 runs scored this season, Carroll brings power and speed to the team’s lineup. In other offensive categories, the Diamondbacks rank third in strikeout rate, fifth in batting average, slugging percentage, and stolen bases, ninth in on-base percentage, and 13th in home runs. Their winning streak, which began with five consecutive victories, was preserved by a four-run ninth inning in the previous game.
But the pitching in Phoenix has been less formidable, despite the team’s success. Zach Davies, in particular, has struggled at home in 2023, boasting a disappointing 6.75 earned run average. In the 13.1 innings he has pitched at home this season, Davies has surrendered ten earned runs, allowing 17 hits and seven walks while recording only ten strikeouts. Although Davies currently boasts the lowest Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of his career, primarily due to his low number of home runs allowed, the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, while average overall, has recently shown stability in later innings. So Davies’ objective should be to hand the ball over to one of the team’s most reliable late-game relievers instead of being a bridge to the bullpen. While the Arizona offense has the potential to rescue him, it would be preferable if Davies didn’t have to rely on their support too heavily.
While I’m not confident in the Phillies’ bullpen, I am confident in their offense. This year they are hitting .262 against right-handed pitching, 14 points higher than against lefties in more than twice that amount of at-bats. At Bet365, Philadelphia’s team alternate totals of Over 5.5 is at +140. Everyone knows how much I hate the juice, and a three-unit wager will return more than four when they knock around the D-backs pitching again.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Philadelphia Alternate Team Total OVER 5.5 3-UNITS
Up 11 units (+$1100)