In Yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, I was uncertain of Aaron Nola’s form but thought that the Phillies’ hot bats could help propel them over the 9.5 run total. Nola looked like the ace he used to be, not allowing his first hit until the fifth inning. He finished with 7.1 innings, four hits three runs (two earned), and six strikeouts. Kyle Schwarber did a little bit of everything, homering in the first inning and then making a leaping, gazelle-like grab in the 5th inning as the Phillies won their 5th consecutive game 4-3.
Brewers (+155) vs. Phillies (-175) O/U 8.0
With yesterday’s win, the Phillies moved into 2nd place in the NL East, still 9.5 games back from the Braves but now occupying the last wildcard playoff spot. The Brewers still reside in the NL Central top spot, 2.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds. Philadelphia moves to 10 games over .500 for the first time this year and saw their home record improve to 26-17. The second game in the series between these teams is slated for a 6:40 first pitch.
Brewers Pitching and Batting
Milwaukee was scheduled to start the venerable LHP Wade Miley but he was placed on the 15-day IL so the Brewers instead turn to RHP Colin Rea (5-4 4.71) instead. In his last start before the All-Star break, Rea was roughed up by the Reds, giving up seven hits over 4.2 innings for five runs.
If you’re a Brewers fan there are some issues with Rea to be concerned about. First is his propensity to give up the long ball. In the aforementioned start, he surrendered two dingers in only 4.2 innings and has given up 13 over 80 and a third IP. Second, he has had trouble versus left-handed power hitters, with nine of those homers coming from lefties in 12 fewer at-bats than right-handed hitting. He’s allowed a .507 slugging percentage and a .840 OPS to lefthanders while righties have slugged .359 and an OPS of .629.
In contrast to the general trend in baseball, the Milwaukee team’s batting performance isn’t showing signs of improvement with the arrival of summer. Despite achieving a 4-1 record in their last five games, their offensive output has been modest, scoring a total of 12 runs (averaging 2.4 runs per game). As a team, their batting average stands at .208, with only four home runs, a slugging percentage of .321, and an OPS of .591. Their victories were primarily attributed to their impressive pitching, as they managed to shut out the Reds in the first three games of this period.
Phillies Pitching and Batting
The Phillies send LHP Cristopher Sanchez (0-3 3.26) to the bump for Wednesday’s game. Sanchez’s last start was also the Phillies’ last loss, the first game out of the All-Star break against San Diego. He only allowed three hits in the five innings he pitched, but unfortunately two of those here home runs.
While batters are only hitting .221 against Sanchez for the season, he has struggled against hitters leading off an inning, who have hit .429 with six hits in 14 at-bats and three walks and have a .529 OBP. If he can avoid putting the leadoff batter on base, I think Sanchez will be quite effective. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, the batters leading off an inning for the Brewers are batting .292 and have a .365 OBP.
Since June 1st, the Phillies have a 27-12 record, have a team batting average of .268, an OPS of 770, 50 home runs in those 39 games, and 40 stolen bases. This is even better than the 39-game stretch last season when they went 25-14. Maybe next year they can start spring training a month earlier?
Even though Milwaukee has been winning, they haven’t been doing it with great offense. Sanchez has been strong although his record isn’t indicative of his performance. I think the Phillies’ offense continues its hot streak and even though Sanchez doesn’t have an OFFICIAL win, the Phillies have won half of his starts. I also think these two teams get on track offensively and put up double digits.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Phillies 3 units
Pick: Brewers-Phillies 3 units
Up 5.5 units (+$550)