The Phillies will be an underdog for the first time this season when they face angry Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals, who reportedly offered Bryce Harper a $250 million contract spread out over 52 years this winter. Scherzer is reason enough for the Nationals to be favored at NJ sports betting sites, but Zach Eflin starting for the Phils probably doesn’t help much either. Some things to consider and possible spots to find value.
Phillies at Nationals odds
Interestingly, the lined open at -206 for the Nationals, so things have come down a bit in the Phils’ favor.
Phils struggle against Scherzer
New Phillies and old Phillies alike struggle against Scherzer, who is good but also angry and apparently sworn to destroy Bryce Harper tonight, saying “this is just Round 1.” Neato, Max, maybe you can puff that out your cheeks as you bear down on the home plate in front of 42 actual fans.
Anyway, he’s good, and here’s how the Phils’ lineup fares against him:
- Andrew McCutchen: 4-25, 14 K
- J.T. Realmuto: 3-36, 11 K
- Maikel Franco: 3-24, 3 K
- Jean Segura: 1-6
- Cesar Hernandez: 8-40, 11 K
- Rhys Hoskins: 0-11, 7 K
- Nick Williams: 2-6, HR
- Odubel Herrera: 14-41, 3 2B, 2 HR
Only Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera have his number. Obviously Harper has never faced him.
But no Williams tonight:
#Phillies Lineup 04/02/19
1. Andrew McCutchen LF
2. Jean Segura SS
3. Bryce Harper RF
4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
5. J.T. Realmuto C
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cesar Hernandez 2B
8. Maikel Franco 3B
9. Zach Eflin P
Starting Pitcher : Zach Eflin
— Daily MLB Lineups (@DailyMLBLineup) April 2, 2019
Eflin wasn’t great against the Nationals last year, going 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA. His WHIP was 2.12.
So now you see why the Phils have so much working against them. HOWEVER, there is the genuine possibility of Scherzer being worked up to the point of blowing an actual gasket, insofar as he actually has one. He’s nuts, and the added whatever of Harper and a ton of Phils fans in attendance, and you can see where he could be over-amped.
That’s narrative street.
Here are some real trends.
The Nationals were the sixth least profitable team last year when favored between -170 and -200, and were only 16-11 overall at those prices, which isn’t great for being a heavy favorite.
Scherzer teams are 31-21 in March and April, but that’s only slightly profitable when favoring in the moneyline. A $100 bettor made $66, which just barely breaks even given the 60% win percentage.
But Scherzer is money when a favorite between -170 to -200. He’s 46-15 in that spot. 75.4%, Holmes.
Washington was 6-2 last year when he was in it.
Where to find value
PointsBet’s MLB Parlay of the Day has the Phillies, Yankees and Mets to all win tonight. You can get that for +550 . They got crushed on Opening Day when all three of those teams won:
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) March 29, 2019
DraftKings Sportsbook has a FUN little prop for the Phillies first loss:
The better boosts are Harper-centric.
And DraftKings has a Phillies win and Bryce Harper to hit a home run boosted to +1300 from +1100 . Kind of like a little flier on that.
I’m tempted to stay away from this one. Also, I don’t feel like driving over the bridge and PA online sports betting isn’t live yet. But if I were putting down, here’s how I’d do it:
$50 on the Phils outright at +160 where I can get it
$10 on the Phils-to-win-Harper odds boost
You might be able to get the best team in the National League in the midst of a solid start with emotional factors at play at solid odds. And then boost that with a jack from the GOAT who has the most home runs in March-April in Major League Baseball since 2012? Yeah, sure.
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