The Philadelphia Phillies Are Still Struggling As Second Month Of MLB Season Arrives

Written By Dave Bontempo on May 3, 2021

The Philadelphia Phillies need to crank up the long balls and run production. From an NJ sports betting perspective, think about the “over.”

As the Phillies battle the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park and then visit the Atlanta Braves next weekend, the offense looks set to surge around the league.

The first weekend in May brought a glimpse of warmer temperatures and sizzling MLB offenses. Three teams on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, and Cincinnati Reds, won by scoring 13 or more runs. The Chicago Cubs had 12, and lost to the Reds, in a game that featured 10 long balls.

What about handicapping the Phillies’ odds?

Trying to gauge their pattern for betting purposes? They have not won two in a row since their 4-0 start.  They have not won a series since taking two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals last month.

The Phillies are two games under .500, 13-15, but there’s a logjam atop the NL East.

The Washington Nationals, winners of four straight, lead the division at 12-12. The New York Mets are 11-11. Love that .500 gold standard.

Now that we’ve recapped the first up-and-down month of the Phillies season, here is a closer look at home the team is looking overall.

Mets Series Did Not Go Well

Philadelphia lost two of three in a nail-biting series this past weekend against the Mets amid huge contrasts.

They won the series opener 2-1. However, both Phillies runs were unearned, with both runs scoring via a passed ball.

The Phillies dropped Saturday’s game 5-4. The Mets opened the game by scoring four first-inning runs.

They suffered an epic bullpen meltdown Sunday, turning a 4-2 eighth-inning lead into an 8-4 deficit, before momentarily tying the game in the ninth inning. But Rhys Hoskins’ apparent game-tying homer was reversed to a double and the Phillies lost 8-7. Five inches, six maybe and it’s gone.

The weekend was that close.

The Phillies’ lighter-fluid bullpen, singed for a 7.06 ERA last season, allowed the league’s lowest-scoring team to notch its biggest inning of the year.

Bryce Harper, who had missed three games after being hit in the face, looked good in his return Sunday but aggravated a wrist injury and may need more rest.

Andrew McCutchen hurt the Phillies with two bad defensive plays in the series. Important to know for over-under totals.

Alec Bohm is doing an excellent job taking the ball to right field (good to know for total hits props).

Didi Gregorious was 3-for-32 before launching a sixth-inning rocket. The three-run homer gave the Phillies the 4-2 lead they coughed up.

First look at the Brewers series

Possible bad weather Monday night could affect the turn of Vince Velasquez, set to open versus the Brewers. If it’s rained out, he’ll probably get skipped.

Velasquez gets a third straight start replacing  Matt Moore, who has not pitched since being placed into COVID-19 protocols. Velasquez has a 5.40 ERA in his first two starts but has pitched reasonably well against the Colorado Rockies and Cardinals.

But have you noticed the weakness for Double V? The second time through the lineup continues to be a challenge.

The Brewers are expected to start Adrian Houser. He was scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers but has been pushed back, getting an extra day’s rest.

Here’s an MLB betting nugget worth thinking about. Prominent Milwaukee slugger Christian Yelich, who hasn’t played since April 11 because of a lower back strain, returns for this series. So does Lorenzo Cain.

Long-term, that’s an edge for the Brewers. Inside of a series? Hard to tell.

After the back end of the pitching staff goes Monday, the Phillies ace Aaron Nola is slated for Tuesday matchup. He is 2-1 with a 3.11 ERA.

Nola is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in six career starts against Milwaukee.

Eric Lauer earns a second start for Milwaukee after tossing five scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Thursday following a callup. Lauer threw 73 pitches in that game and should be available to increase that number if he pitches well.

Chase Anderson is scheduled to be on the bump on Wednesday for Philadelphia.  His best outing of the season, and his first victory, occurred in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Mets. He lasted five innings and left with the lead.

Freddy Peralta, 2.25 ERA is slated for Milwaukee.

Zack Wheeler, victimized by bad defense Saturday against the Mets, will get the ball Thursday afternoon He yielded four first-inning runs but shut the Mets down and left with the score tied 4-4.

Brandon Woodruff, 1.80, goes for Milwaukee.

So at first glance, the Phillies have a pitching edge in game two, Milwaukee in game three and the others are tossups.

Points to consider when betting on the Phillies

Betting the “over” on the Phillies, especially in-game, has proven to be profitable for bettors.

But wait for “your pitch” just as batters do. Odds fluctuate on every play.

When the Phillies jumped on top 1-0 Sunday against the Mets and had runners on first and second with no outs in the first inning, they were suddenly -3.5 runs at William Hill.

After the first out was recorded, they were down to -2.5.

When the Mets squirmed out of the inning, trailing only 1-0, the Phillies were giving 1.5 runs. Waiting until then to bet the Phillies would have been the game-winning move had the bullpen not imploded.

Here are some others bettors can find at DraftKings, William Hill, BetMGM, and other leading books:

The over-under on each team’s runs

The first team to score

You can bet the results of the first five innings

You can bet the results of the first seven innings. Phillies bettors feasted on that all last year and would have Sunday night against the Mets. They won the first seven innings before losing the game.

One can bet the first team to score.

And if you don’t like the betting odds, say Nola is close to -200 on Tuesday, you can link it with another moneyline bet and get close to even money by winning both.









Photo by AP/Matt Slocum
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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