The Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies meet up for the fourth and final game of their four-game series this week. The Phillies won the opener by a score of 7-4, but have faltered in the last two outings with losses of 6-1 and 5-2. Bryce Harper has continued to struggle in the early stages of the season, similar to what happened last season at the beginning of the year.
Harper is hitting .220 with 7 long balls, which is pretty close to his production level at this point last year. The most overrated ball player in Major League Baseball is off to a predictable start this season. Well, predictable to everyone else but the team who signed him to a monster contract.
Harper ultimately finished with a batting average of .249 with 34 home runs. Those don’t look like $330 million-dollar numbers to me and he’s on pace to likely finishing in the same ballpark of a .250 average. After dusting himself off, Harper got back into the swing of things and bumped his numbers up.
However, .249 is very ugly for a guy making this money. Here we are again and he’s going into May 16th with a batting average of .220. Not good enough for a player carrying that much money around. The Phillies’ chances in the NL East certainly depend on his play. They’re 2.5 games up on the Braves right now, but at 24-18 there’s room for improvement. Zach Davies is expected to get the start for the Brewers, while Zach Eflin goes for the Phillies on Thursday. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Phillies pick.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Brewers’ pitching has mostly been amiss this season, but Zach Davies has been one member of the starting rotation who has been fantastic. He is going to need some help and look at options in the market at the deadline, but Davies has done a fine job at holding the rotation together.
Without him pitching like an elite hurler, the Brewers most likely aren’t looking at a record of 26-19. They are 16th in the majors with a team starter ERA of 4.34. Conversely, Davies has been rock solid with an ERA of 1.54 and perfect 4-0 record in 2019. He is helping pull that team ERA up significantly.
Davies is a guy who posted an ERA of 3.90 in 2017 and 4.77 a season ago, so this definitely isn’t the norm for him. He’s already made eight starts and hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in any outing. Where he shines is in his ability to keep the ball down and in the field of play. In his previous four outings, Davies has allowed just 1 home run. He is coming off a loss, but it isn’t due to his pitching. Milwaukee took a 2-1 loss against the Cubs, with Davies allowing a run in the outing.
It isn’t to take anything away from the Phillies’ starting pitcher Zach Eflin, who has been having a breaking out campaign as well. Not quite as good as Davies, but he still holds a 2.47 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He has been a better pitcher thus far this season than the last three years combined.
His previous career-high was an ERA of 4.36 last season, so both of these pitchers are experiencing similar emotions in their careers. Eflin is coming off a complete game against the Royals, already his second complete game of the year. He’s pitched a lot of innings recently with 25 in his last three games. That can catch up to a pitcher, especially later in the season. Eflin has been good but Davies as an underdog looks more attractive in this spot.