In the last Phillies Betting Preview, I wagered that the Phillies bats would stay hot. Maybe Patrick Corbin read my preview and got pissed because he held the Phillies to one hit and one unearned run. He did walk seven but at the end of the day, how many runs you score or give up is all that matters. The Nats bullpen, which had been automatic in the previous seven days, simply ran out of gas from overusage, giving up five runs in three innings, cashing our ticket.
Twins (-110) vs. Phillies (-110) O/U 9.0
After a 13-2 drubbing on Friday night, the Phillies moved to 13 games over .500 with a mark of 65-52. They remain 9.5 games back of the Braves but have established a one-game difference between themselves and the Giants, who occupy the final NL wild-card spot. The Twins slipped to 60-58 but are still 3.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Guardians. First pitch in the second game of this rare inter-league series is scheduled for 6:40pm on Saturday.
Twins Pitching and Batting
Minnesota turns to the former Miami Marlin RHP Pablo Lopez (7-6 3.81) to slow Philly’s roll following Friday’s ass-kicking. Lopez has made himself right at home in the Twins’ rotation and his peripheral stats are very solid. He has struck out 173 batters this season and that is just one shy of his career-high from last year. His last four starts have also been rough on hitters, allowing just 21 hits and 3 walks over 25 innings pitched for a 1.80 ERA. With a BAbip of .286, it seems that his dominance wasn’t just luck. He’s also no stranger to the Phillies, with a 3-1 record and a 3.09 ERA over 8 appearances. However, in two of his three starts at Citizens Bank Park, he has given up four runs.
Since the first of August, the Twins bullpen has been slightly ineffective, with an ERA of 4.66, the ninth-worst in baseball. They came into the series against Philly relatively rested, but Dallas Keuchel kinda screwed that up by not making it out of the second inning last night. Lopez averages a little more than six innings a start, so they’re hoping to get a little rest after last night’s massacre.
Minnesota’s offense hasn’t been great as their batting average ranks 23rd in the league with a .237 mark. One category they lead in is team strikeouts, with 1,199, 71 more than the hapless Mariners. Over the last five games, they’ve batted .277 with an equal number of hits and strikeouts, averaging 9.4 per game (47), though Minnesota has struck seven long balls over that span.
Phillies Pitching and Batting
The Phillies counter with the current ace of their staff, RHP Taijuan Walker (13.4 3.98). Tied for the league lead in wins with 13, Walker has the beneficiary of outstanding run support. In 10 of his starts, the Phils have scored six or more runs. Only five times in his 23 starts have they scored fewer than three runs. In his last five outings, Walker has allowed 13 earned runs in 30.1 innings pitched for a 3.86 ERA, giving up 28 hits and 11 walks while recording 19 strikeouts. What is a little worrisome is his FIP —- almost 4.5, indicating that his stats could have been much worse.
Thanks to Michael Lorenzen‘s no-hitter on Wednesday, the Phillies bullpen got some much-needed rest. Since August 1st, they have pitched 101 innings, tops in the majors. The team went 8-3, so it’s not been in vain, but overuse is clearly going to be a concern from now until the end of the playoffs (yes, I said it, the Phillies are making the playoffs.
Over the past 11 games, Philly is hitting at a .265 clip with 21 doubles and homers, and 62 runs scored. Most importantly, they are only stranding 5.5 batters on average in this 8-3 run. Powering this offensive machine has been Nick Castellanos, who is absolutely crushing the ball —- third on the team in average at .340 and leading in hits (16), home runs (6), runs (10), and RBIs (13). Catcher J.T. Realmuto is also having a nice start to the month, heating up to a .320 average with three home runs.
I’m duplicating my last effort, taking the Philadelphia team total over 4.5 runs. While Lopez has had success against Philly, all but one of those games was in the pitcher-friendly confines of Miami Marlins Park. I’ll continue to ride the sizzling bats of the Phillies.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies Team Total OVER 4.5 +100 (Draftkings) 3 UNITS
Up 6.8 units (+$680)