No doubt the Phillies enter their series against the Braves tonight with their backs up against the wall. If they want to make a serious September run at a division title, they need to put an ugly 11-16 month of June in the rearview mirror starting tonight. Aaron Nola, who has allowed only one earned run while striking out 20 hitters and walking only two over his previous two starts, enters tonight looking to shake off a rough outing at SunTrust Park back on June 15. He failed to complete five innings in that start after allowing five earned runs on six hits and two walks, including two homers. This one was the knockout blow:
🚀 BLAST OFF 🚀
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) June 16, 2019
It was the fourth time this season that he failed to complete five innings, but the Phillies would go on to rally and earn their lone win of what was an otherwise brutal series, one that intensifies the importance of this upcoming three-game set.
The Phillies, who desperately need Nola to stay hot tonight, will be opposed by Atlanta’s Dallas Keuchel. The Phillies reportedly failed to show much interest in the left-handed starter despite a glaring need in their starting rotation, so you can be ready for a flood of “should’ve signed” takes on Twitter and your radios tonight and tomorrow if Keuchel throws well. That said, there’s really no other way to spin it. The Phillies need to win tonight. Their best guy is on the mound against the one they passed on despite an obvious need. With a 5.5-game deficit. I mean, they really need to win tonight.
Will they? Let’s get into it.
Those of you in Pennsylvania, find out more about how to get in on the action on our PA sports betting page.
Those of you in New Jersey, hit our NJ online sports betting page.
Here are the Phillies-Braves odds for tonight’s game.
|Phillies||-1.5 (+150)||-105||O 10 (+100)|
|Braves||+1.5 (-177)||-109||U 10 (-115)|
|Phillies||-1.5 (+150)||-105||O 9.5 (-120)|
|Braves||+1.5 (-177)||-109||U 9.5 (-105)|
|Phillies||+1.5 (-200)||-105||O 10 (-110)|
|Braves||-1.5 (+171)||-115||U 10 (-110)|
If you’re looking to take the Phillies on the moneyline, you can get the same price at DraftKings Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, or PointsBet. As of 2 pm this afternoon, DraftKings and Sugarhouse are each offering the Braves at -109. If you’re looking to play the under, PointsBet is giving you a total of 10 at the cheaper price, so take advantage of it. Meanwhile, if you’re on the over, then roll with DraftKings.
General Betting Trends
Let’s first look at tonight’s odds. The Phillies opened early this morning as high as +100 on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook and SugarHouse Sportsbook, but that line has since crept up to the -105 area, although the Phillies are still the underdog. There are some conflicting trends at play in this one. The Phillies are a miserable 8-16 as a road underdog this season, but one of those wins came in the aforementioned Nola start back on June 15. The Phillies are also 7-6 when between -101 and -115 on the moneyline this season. Meanwhile, the Braves are a very small -109 favorite at both books, which is notable because they are only 4-8 this season when favored between -105 and -115. That’s the worst record in that specific spread range of any team in baseball this season.
Big Offense, Big Letdown?
The Phils salvaged the final game in Miami when the offense broke out with a 13-run performance. How have the Phillies performed after putting up a double-digit number? For years, it seemed like they would struggle after a big outburst, but they have actually been pretty good in this spot since Gabe Kapler took over. Philadelphia is 11-5 dating back to the start of the 2018 season after scoring 10 or more runs their previous game, including a 5-2 record this season.
Lefties are a Problem
The Phillies have some interesting home/road splits against left-handed starters this season. They are 6-2 at home against LH starters, but only 3-9 against them on the road. The bigger concern? The Phillies are only 1-8 this season as a road underdog when facing a LH starting pitcher. That’s…not good.
Certainly, the Phillies are the more desperate team and they’re rolling out the better starting pitcher. Their brutal performance against left-handed starters as a road underdog this season is a big concern, but given the magnitude of this series, and this game, I’ll roll with Nola and the Phillies on a short number.