Phillies Betting Preview: Dodgers a Big Favorite in Series Opener

Phillies - Dodgers Betting Preview
PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC HARTLINE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Hoping to gain some momentum off a Maikel Franco walk-off homer that helped salvage the final game of what was an otherwise rough weekend, the Phillies open a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park this evening against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies (48-45) will have their work cut out for themselves against a Dodgers squad that comes to Philly leading all of baseball with 62 wins. Los Angeles swept a three-game series out west earlier this season between the two teams, outscoring the Phillies 18-6 in the process.

While the Dodgers currently hold a comfortable 14 1/2 game lead in the NL West and a 4 1/2 game lead over the Braves for the NL’s top overall record, the Phillies are barely clinging to the second wild card spot this morning thanks to a stretch that has seen them go 15-21 since June 1. With only 13 games remaining prior to the July 31 trade deadline, there are limited opportunities remaining for them to prove that they should be buyers ahead of the stretch run. A good showing against the Dodgers this week could go a long way in not only boosting the Phillies’ wavering confidence and playoff position, but also in changing the underwhelming perception of this team in recent weeks. Will they get off to a good start tonight? Let’s get into it and find out.

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Phillies-Dodgers Odds

Here are the Phillies-Dodgers odds for tonight’s game. Odds listed are as of 10 a.m. Monday morning.

SugarHouse Sportsbook

Run Line Money Total
Phillies +1.5 (-106) +155 O 10 (-103)
Dodgers -1.5 (-110) -177 U 10 (-114)

DraftKings Sportsbook

Run Line Money Total
Phillies +1.5 (-106) +155 O 10 (-104)
Dodgers -1.5 (-110) -177 U 10 (-117)

PointsBet

Run Line Money Total
Phillies +1.5 (-105) +155 O 9.5 (-115)
Dodgers -1.5 (-115) -186 U 9.5 (-105)

Want to grab the over? Get it at PointsBet where the total is currently set at 9.5 runs . If you like the Phillies, you can grab them at either SugarHouse Sportsbook or DraftKings Sportsbook. You can also get the same price on a Dodgers moneyline bet at both of those books.

Phillies-Dodgers Pitching Trends

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw comes into this game with a 7-2 record and 3.09 ERA in 15 starts this season. He’s striking out only 8.3 batters per nine innings, but he’s also allowing only 1.5 walks per nine. Since June 1, Kershaw has a 2.68 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 47 IP and has held opponents to a .232 average and .615 OPS, so he comes into this game pitching extremely well as of late.

The Dodgers have been favored in each of Kershaw’s 15 starts this season and have gone a stellar 11-4 (+$235), but the results haven’t been quite as good on the road. Los Angeles is only 3-3 (-$84) in Kershaw’s six road starts. That makes sense given his elevated 3.99 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched on the road.

When Kershaw is on the mound and the Dodgers close as a moneyline favorite between -170 and -180, they are a perfect 4-0 this season. At a current -177 moneyline favorite, the Dodgers have only been a greater road underdog with Kershaw on the mound once this season when they were a monster -237 moneyline favorite at San Francisco. The Dodgers, however, did lose that game.

In terms of how the Dodgers have fared against the Phillies with Kershaw on the mound, they are 2-2 dating back to the 2015 season.  He’s only pitched once at Citizens Bank Park dating since then, a 4-3 Dodgers loss in 2017. All four Phillies runs in that game came on an Aaron Altherr grand slam:

Zach Eflin 

Eflin has arguably been the Phillies’ second-best starter this season with a 7-8 record and 3.78 ERA in 17 starts. Like other Phillies starters not named Aaron Nola, Eflin has been a bit up and down lately. He turned in a pair of outstanding starts back in mid-June against Arizona and Washington, but struggled in a late-June start against the Mets and was rocked on July 4 in Atlanta. Since June 1, Eflin has a 5.24 ERA in 34.1 IP. Opponents are hitting .288 against him with an .884 OPS.

The Phillies are 7-10 (-$396) when Eflin starts this season, but are 5-2 ($162) when he starts at home. Tonight marks the first time this season the Phillies have been a home underdog when Eflin starts, but it’s worth mentioning that they are only 1-6 (-$439) in his starts as an underdog this season.

The Phillies are also 0-4 in four Eflin starts against the Dodgers, which is unsurprising considering he has a 9.18 ERA against L.A. in those four starts. He’s allowed 10 homers in only 16.2 IP, while the Dodgers are batting .324 with a 1.178 OPS against him. Small sample size? Maybe. But that’s not great.

Phillies-Dodgers General Betting Trends

The Dodgers, despite having the superior club in recent seasons, are only 6-7 overall at Citizens Bank Park dating back to 2015, including a 1-2 record last season.

The Phillies are 28-19 (+$72) at home this season, while the Dodgers are 25-21 (-$209) on the road.

Depending on what books you go by, the Phillies have been a home underdog either two or four times this season. Either way, they haven’t won in this role yet. They have struggled as an underdog in general going 10-21 (-$813). They have been one of the least profitable underdog bets in all of baseball this season. The Phillies are also only 4-10 when a moneyline underdog of +135 or more. They are 2-7 (-$419) when a moneyline underdog between +140 and +160.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have been profitable as a favorite at 58-29 (+$576). They are 21-17 (-$278) as a road favorite this season.

Interestingly, despite the Dodgers’ significant pop from the left side, they are only 14-14 (-$484) on the road in games started by a right-handed pitcher this season. Even more puzzling, L.A. is 27-6 against righties at home this season. Weird.

As for the Phillies, they are 6-3 at home when facing a left-handed starting pitcher.

Phillies-Dodgers Prediction

The Dodgers are clearly the superior team. Kershaw is clearly the superior pitcher. The Phillies have been playing poorly. Zach Eflin has been atrocious against the Dodgers throughout his career, but give me the Phillies for a small play at +155.

Bold? Damn right. I’m just not in love with laying -177 on a Los Angeles squad that’s only 6-7 at Citizens Bank Park dating back to 2015, and the Phillies have had some success against left-handed starters at home this season. Kershaw is a bit more ordinary on the road and the Dodgers have only been a .500 team away from Dodgers Stadium against righties this season. It’s a huge series for the Phillies, so I’ll take a shot that they have a motivational edge, too.

As for the total, after three straight “under” plays to start the second half at Citizens Bank Park, I’ll take a shot on the over if I can get it at 9.5 runs, which I can at PointsBet.

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1 Comment

  • ron burgundy July 15, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Great story. Compelling, and rich.

    Reply
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