MLB Predictions For Today: Phillies Slight Favorites Versus Padres
Fresh off of a sweep of the Chicago Cubs earlier this week, the Phillies continued their winning ways with a victory over the San Diego Padres at home on Friday night. Now tied for the second National League Wild Card spot, the Phillies look to bolster their chances to secure a playoff spot. Here is a sports betting breakdown of tonight’s National League tilt.
On Saturday morning, the Phillies are small -112 favorites versus the visiting San Diego Padres for the Saturday night contest. Zach Eflin steps out of the bullpen to make a start for the home Phillies. Dinelson Lamet will take the mound for the Padres at -102 on FanDuel Sportsbook. The 9.5-run O/U projects for a high-scoring environment.
MLB Predictions for Today — Phillies (-112) vs. Padres (-102), Over/Under 9.5 Runs
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Fernando Tatis was placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday, retroactive to August 14th, after a stress reaction occurred in his lower back after a foul ball swing. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune then reported that Tatis is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Tatis was pushing Pete Alonso for Rookie of the Year honors as a fixture at the top of the Padres lineup. The Padres will miss his .317 AVG and 22 home runs from the leadoff spot but also his left-handed presence in the order. With Luis Urias replacing Tatis at shortstop, the Padres only project to have three right-handed hitters in the order against Zach Eflin, tonight.
Temperature Meter – Harper Hot at Home
Bryce Harper has spent the last few days making a believer out of Philadelphia Phillies fans. Embroiled in a tight race for a playoff berth, Harper has lit up opposing pitching over the past few games at home.
In the last three games, Harper has a .500 AVG with a staggering 394 wRC+. Of course, the sample is small, but Harper’s walk-off Grand Slam on Thursday night was one of four home runs to go with 10 RBI. The scene after the walk-off hit was that of a playoff contender coming alive. Bryce will be a very tough out for Lamet tonight in Philadelphia.
Prop Shop – Home Run Props on FanDuel Sportsbook
After missing the 2018 season following Tommy John surgery, Dinelson Lamet returned to the Padres’ rotation in July and is steadily working himself back into form. Thus far, Lamet has struggled with left-handed power bats but the sample this season is very small.
In 2017, Lamet faced 485 hitters and finished with a 43.1 FB% and 1.4 HR/9. Lamet is certainly a pitcher to target with opposing power hitters and is shifting to a ballpark where fly balls easily become home runs. A pair of lefties in the heart of the Phillies order bring some value with their home run prices on FanDuel Sportsbook. The aforementioned Bryce Harper (+320) and teammate, Corey Dickerson (+450), hit a sufficient number of fly balls to target Lamet with. Looking for a bigger bang for your buck? Scott Kingery, if cracking the lineup, is +500 to hit a home run and has a 40.1 FB% against right-handed pitching this season.
Prefer a Padre? Nobody will argue with targeting Eflin with any power bat from the Padres order. That said, Eflin has been a homer-waiting-to-happen against lefties throughout his career. The +480 price tag for catcher Francisco Mejia and his 39.8 FB% brings intrigue.
As previously discussed, Dinelson Lamet is working back from Tommy John surgery this season. Lamet has been solid this season — his 3.78 xFIP compared to his 3.86 ERA suggests his peripheral statistics line up with his surface numbers. His 32.5 K% has been outstanding and will certainly be a tool to consider against a team with a 21.0 K%. Yet, Lamet’s control is an issue with his 10.6 BB% indicative of too many free base runners. With the fly balls and home runs a lingering issue for Lamet, the free passes are a pause for concern against a lineup rife with hitters that can take Lamet deep.
Lamet’s opponent, Zach Eflin, does not boast the solid track record as a starter possessed by his opponent. The strikeouts are down this season (18.7%) despite time in the bullpen. The walk-rate is pretty strong (6.3%) but everything else has been a disaster. His fly ball and hard-contact rate are the same at 37.3% and his home ballpark does not protect him from giving up the long ball (1.6 HR/9). Simply put, Eflin is an avoidable pitcher in his first start back from the bullpen.
Does Eflin have anything in his favor? With the loss of Fernando Tatis, the Padres lineup is even more right-handed. Per the RotoGrinders projected lineups page, the Padres will likely trot out three lefties. Since 2018, Eflin boasts a .303 wOBA and .140 ISO against versus the right side.
The MLB Pick — First 5 Innings – Over 5.5 Runs at +104 (use our FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds).
After discussing the pitching from both sides, my lean is to avoid picking a winner and instead, consider an implied total. The Padres’ lineup sees a positive park shift against a weaker pitcher that is not stretched out. Behind Eflin are a bullpen that gives up base runners (.333 wOBA) and plenty of home runs (1.6 HR/9). Dinelson Lamet is a more effective starting pitcher but faces a much hotter offense filled with power from top to bottom. The Padres bullpen is very strong with a 4.05 xFIP and 25.3 K% and is the only major concern for over bettors.
With the warm and humid context forecasted for Philadelphia tonight, the ball will be flying. Both starting pitchers give up a massive amount of fly balls against offenses filled with fly ball hitters. Hoping to take advantage of the poor starting pitching, I will try to avoid the Padres’ bullpen with a total for the first five innings. I will take the current +104 price on over 5.5 runs in the first five innings on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Check back tomorrow for a Sunday Night Baseball prediction.
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