I make my return to the MLB picks scene on Tuesday night, after sitting out the past few days. I scored a big win against Clayton Kershaw a week ago, but have dropped to 1-2 over my last couple of picks. The aim is to get back to .500 tonight, while also securing The Sports Geek readers some solid value.
That should arrive at Citizen Bank Park, where the Philadelphia Phillies host the San Francisco Giants.
Vegas likes the Phillies here, as they opened this series with an easy 11-0 win on Monday and look to take a 2-0 lead. It’s tough not to love their chances of doing that, seeing as Aaron Nola (4-1, 2.17 ERA) prepares to toe the rubber. On the other side is the hittable Derek Holland (1-3, 5.70 ERA).
The Phillies as a straight up bet (-196 at Bovada) really don’t offer that much value, so you’ll need to dig in for some value here. Perhaps that’s targeting the Giants as +168 road underdogs, but I have a better idea. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s showdown in Philly to find out what that is:
San Francisco Giants (+1.5, -135) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-1.5, +115) Total: 8 (-115/-105)
I’ll end the suspense right now and let you know I’m not taking the Giants. I’d need a lot more than a +168 price to back them in this spot. They couldn’t even get a single run on Zach Eflin last night, so despite the obvious park upgrade, I highly doubt they’re about to go nuts on a way better arm in Nola.
Nola is probably one of the more underrated pitchers in the majors right now. The 24-year old Nola can dazzle with his bat-missing ability or he’ll marvel with run prevention. He simply doesn’t get lit up very often, as he limits hard contact, gets batters to swing and induces soft contact.
The number don’t lie here. Despite playing in a dangerous ballpark, Nola is 3-0 with a strong 2.45 ERA at home. Overall, he’s allowing under two runs per game and dominating lineups.
Insert the Giants, who don’t pack much power, and Nola has a pretty great matchup on his hands. The Giants have been known as an offense that doesn’t strikeout much, either, but they’re actually in the bottom 10 of the MLB this year in that department.
Even if you’re somehow not a believer in Nola (you should be) and you believe in the Giants (you probably shouldn’t be), you should at least note that Derek Holland is a fun matchup for opposing offenses.
Holland isn’t without talent, but he gives up way too much contact and regularly gets lit up. It’s even worse when he’s facing right-handed power and the Phillies have that in pades. Rhys Hoskins leads a dangerous Philly lineup that boasts a collective .182 ISO against southpaws. In a tough park for pitching, that’s bad news when combined with Holland’s .392 wOBA and .270 ISO against righties.
Statistically, this is a great matchup for the Phillies bats and an amazing spot for Nola. That’s precisely why the top MLB betting sites are making you pay to back the Phillies. There isn’t any value in that, but this stands out to me as another game Philadelphia takes with ease.
I think the Phillies are on their way to a weep and a big win tonight should be part of it. I’ll take the Phillies by two runs at a +115 price and if you’re feeling extra saucy, hit the Over in a game where Philly could tee off.