In writing the many editions of the Phillies Betting Preview, I’ve come to realize I am an amazing illusionist. I have the ability to make a struggling pitcher into the most dominant hurler ever. In our last PBP, I saw a scenario where the Phillies would be able to take advantage of a struggling Yu Darvish and get a win from the Padres. Instead, Darvish looked like Sandy Koufax, striking out nine batters over six innings for an 8-3 Padres win. Of course, the next three games I don’t cover, Philadelphia wins. I’m not sure what I’ll do if I “Mush” Philly again…
Brewers (+175) vs. Phillies (-210) O/U 9.5
The Milwaukee Brewers make their only trip to Philadelphia this season. The Brew Crew are sitting atop the NL Central with a record of 52-42, while Philly sports a 51-42 record of their own, but only good enough for 3rd-place in the NL East. In the wild-card race, the Phillies are a half-game behind both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins and just a full game behind San Francisco. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.
Brewers Pitching and Batting
The Brewers kick off this 3-game set with RHP Julio Teheran (2-3 3.64) taking the mound. While the long-time former Braves pitcher is having a bit of a resurgence after a few off-years, his last few starts, however, have been more akin to batting practice. He gave up seven runs to the Mets and then six runs to the Cubs before the All-Star break. However, his last start was two weeks ago and he should be fully rested.
Julio has never been a dominant power pitcher, but the average velocity of his fastballs has dropped by 2.5 MPH from his 2021 season. However, his other peripherals are decent. His BB/9 (1.72) is the lowest of his career since his 2nd-year in, ditto for his WHIP (1.02). His BABIP, which as always been much lower than average (a career mark at .267) is an insane .239.
Milwaukee’s bullpen has been solid, 4th in the league with 31 saves and 5th in the league in save percentage at 72% (interestingly, the Phillies are 4th at 74%). The Brew Crew’s bullpen inherited 105 runners and allowed 30 of them to score, for an Inherited Runner Scoring percentage of 29%.
The Brewers’ offense has been almost anemic this season, with the 6th-worst runs scored per game at 4.17 and a 5th-worst batting average at .232. Their current form is slightly better, averaging 4.4 runs per game and batting .264 in six games against Cincinnati Reds and four contests against the Chicago Cubs.
Phillies Pitching and Batting
The Phillies send their venerable ace, RHP Aaron Nola (8-6 4.39) to start this series. In his 9th season in the bigs, the crafty Nola is suffering through his worst campaign. He’s given up a league-worst 21 home runs in 119 innings, which is two more homers than he allowed all of last season. His strikeout percentage of 24.9% is the lowest since his rookie campaign in 2015.
He seems to be alternating bad starts with quality starts over his past seven games. He has fared well against Milwaukee in his last five starts, dating back to 2019, with a 2-1 record and 2.17 ERA in 29 innings pitched. The Phillies could really use one of those historical starts tonight.
Philadelphia’s bats over the past 10 games have been decent, averaging 4.9 runs per contest and batting .254 over that period. They’re averaging a stolen base a game and have an OPS of .727 in this 7-3 streak. Sadly, they’ve still stranded 71 runners and struck out 102 times.
Nola has been too inconsistent to justify a -210 price but Teheran’s recent outings have been worrisome and Nola is such a significantly better pitcher at home. The wager that I can get behind, however, is the over of 9.5. The Phillies bats have come out of the All-Star break el Fuego, averaging over six runs per game. We’ll continue to ride that wave this evening.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Milwaukee-Philadelphia OVER 3-units
Up 8.5 units (+$850)