Will the Philadelphia Phillies be buyers or sellers at next month’s MLB trading deadline.?
One answer emerges this weekend, in a four-game series with the National League East-leading New York Mets at Citi Field. The Phillies, 2-6 in the last week and a half, fight to maintain their season.
Against that sub-plot, New Jersey online sports bettors will be buyers of over-under totals, moneylines, run lines, and individual props.
And how will these results impact the Phillies odds for the second half of the season?
Here are some NJ sports betting areas of consideration for the four-game set.
Phillies-Mets playing two on Friday
The first matchup is a Friday doubleheader.
This is always tough to decipher from a runs standpoint. The over-under is generally in the “7” range and the seven-inning length reduces the impact of leaky bullpens.
In a Monday doubleheader, the Mets took a 4-2 victory and 1-0 defeat versus the Atlanta Braves. The under prevailed on both.
In an earlier doubleheader between these teams, the Mets swept the Phillies 4-0 and 4-3. Unders again, but right near the number. Tough to trust.
The Mets are 2-0-3 in doubleheaders this year. Purists and books hate the seven-inning stint, but it’s reality.
Moneyline bettors should take this little nugget into consideration: the Phillies are a weak road team at 13-23.
And here’s a tip for in-game bettors: load up. The Phillies come off their worst bullpen outing, perhaps ever.
Yes, this is a tough category because the team had a record-setting 7.06 ERA last season. But on Wednesday, the Phillies pen gave up 11 runs in two innings.
That’s right, double digits. And after they’d blown leads of 5-0 and 9-5, rallied from 11-9 down to go up 12-11 after eight innings, didn’t you just know it wasn’t enough? And Hector Neris confirmed the suspicions, blowing the game Philadelphia lost 13-12.
So what did that mean for bettors?
The “over” was not only cashed by the fifth inning but in the fifth inning. Washington scored five and the Phillies four.
The Phillies pen coughed up 13 baserunners in the fourth and fifth innings alone and 19 in the five innings they worked.
Probable starters for the Philadelphia Phillies
Zach Eflin and Zack Wheeler are considered probable starting pitchers for the Phillies on Saturday and Sunday. But gamblers can’t be certain of this until at least one day before the matchup
In recent efforts, Eflin has been getting tagged to the tune of nine runs yielded in his last 10 innings.
Wheeler has a 1.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his last seven games. He’s pitching well.
The Phillies’ best moneyline chance could be him, provided he’s not opposite the planet’s best pitcher, Jacob deGrom.
Leveraging Jacob deGrom
There should be another sighting for him.
When he starts depends upon how much rest the Mets want him to have between starts. It’s one thing to admire his season for the ages – a 0.51 WHIP, 0.50 ERA, 117 strikeouts in 72 innings, a strikeout to walk ratio of nearly 12.
But how do you bet it?
“He does bring a lot of action from the players,” Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ director of race and sportsbook operations, told PlayNJ. “The problem is you have to lay a bigger price.
“So, if you want to bet him, maybe you can’t do it on the moneyline, you may have to lay the run and a half on him, which bettors are willing to do because he doesn’t give up many. Maybe he gives up one and you think the Mets can get three or four, that type of thing.”
One DraftKings Sportsbook prop to look for is strikeouts. deGrom averages 9.75 per game.
He will probably need to hit that number in five or six innings. deGrom has a string of 30 scoreless innings.
Another angle is to take the Mets on the moneyline in a parlay with a couple of other bets, to bring the betting odds down.
Season-long bettors can forget the Cy Young Award wager, as he is -400 at William Hill.
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US, said deGrom’s price is probably a little higher than normal just because there’s so much of the season left.
“But he’s won it multiple times and he looks so unhittable, so deGrom definitely warrants those odds. He’s had a few injury scares though. Any of these year-long awards are very tricky just because of the health factor,” said Bogdanovich.
However, the MVP bet is still live. deGrom recaptured favored status of +125 at William Hill after Monday’s performance and with his nearest competition, Fernando Tatis Jr., fighting a shoulder problem. Tatis was at +200 as of Thursday afternoon.
Avello acknowledged the unusual phenomenon around deGrom. At this pace, deGrom might barely earn the 162 innings pitched required for the ERA title. And he could win everything else.
“Right now, you’re looking at a six, maybe a seven-inning pitcher,” Avello said, “who has an ERA that’s off the charts. Perhaps he will pitch deeper in some crucial games late in the season.
“You can see where the innings won’t be enough and you can also see that there’s not a whole lot of competition out there for him yet.”
Curtain-call salute for deGrom
The defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers are so dominant that when they opened a series against the San Diego Padres Monday night at +115, it was the first time they were an underdog since 2019.
That’s incredible. Never a dog in roughly 150 games.
And the player they faced the last time they were a dog, in that September 2019 contest?
The Dodgers were +132 at William Hill that day and deGrom’s Mets beat them 3-0.
Prop Watch: Mets getting healthy
Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil have just returned from injury. Francisco Lindor, a bust for most of the early season, hit his ninth home run Wednesday night. He now looks locked in to approach 25 homers, one reason the Mets got him in the off-season.
Watch all three in upcoming games for hit totals, RBI, and possibly homers in the NJ sports betting prop department.
New York holds a solid grip on the NL East lead despite Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard not pitching at all this season. Joey Lucchesi just went down for the season and Marcus Stroman left a game this week with an ailing hip. He should return early next week.
The team is keeping deGrom around 80 pitches, getting roughly six innings from him.
And yet this team still threatens to pull away.
Unless the Phillies make a quick recovery and do something they have struggled with all season – win on the road.