Braves vs. Phillies MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Back Atlanta’s Bats (Tuesday, June 28)
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcell Ozuna (Braves)
- The Braves and Phillies face off to begin a three-game set from Philadelphia.
- Charlie Morton takes the hill for the Braves while Zack Wheeler steps in for the Phillies.
- D.J. James breaks down the duel and explains his unique best bet.
Braves vs. Phillies Odds
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies play host to Charlie Morton and the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
Wheeler has been great lately with a 1.93 ERA in June. On the season, he’s Cy Young contention-worthy with a 2.77 ERA and 2.85 xERA. He’s right in line with luck/expectations.
Morton, on the other hand, has been up and down. He’s been more consistent in June with a 3.60 ERA and 0.84 WHIP, but he has not been without his struggles this season.
Both of these teams have had their success in the bullpens this month, as well.
This is about as tight of a matchup as it can get. Typically, betting the Phillies with Wheeler on the hill and as slightly juiced favorites would be the call, but this lineup has a giant hole in the middle of it with no Bryce Harper.
Instead, taking the Braves team total over is the correct bet. They have crushed right-handers, and even if Wheeler has been as solid, they should string together some good plate appearances and attack the weak spots in the Philly bullpen.
Braves Own Clear Advantage
Morton has been unlucky this season. He has a 4.17 xERA against a 4.84 ERA. He’s still allowing batted balls at an average of 88.8 mph. His Hard-Hit Rate has climbed from last season by 8.5%, and the same can be said about his Walk Rate, which is up slightly from 7.7% to 8.1%.
The Phillies only have four batters over a .340 xwOBA this month against right-handed pitching, so even with Morton’s occasional problems, they cannot be relied upon steadily.
Harper held a .562 xwOBA this month before getting hit by a pitch and breaking his thumb.
There are noticeable gaps between the top of the Phillies’ order and the bottom, and this is a reason to avoid banking on them to exploit Morton’s weaknesses.
Atlanta also has the best bullpen in baseball this month. The Braves own the only set of relievers with a collective sub-3.00 xFIP at 2.93. The next closest team is Seattle at 3.53.
Essentially, every bullpen piece is useful to help defeat a depleted Philadelphia lineup.
Will Phillies’ Wheeler Shut Things Down?
Wheeler is one of the best pitchers in the National League, but he did give up eight hits against this very same Atlanta Braves team.
The Braves are without Ozzie Albies and Eddie Rosario, but they still have eight other hitters with a .360+ xwOBA, six of which have an Average Exit Velocity of at least 90 mph. This should be more than enough artillery to push a few runs across the plate against Wheeler.
Wheeler does have top-notch peripherals. He ranks in the top-30% in most predictive metrics, but his Hard-Hit Rate has increased to be more in line with 2020. His Average Exit Velocity is up 2.2 mph from last season.
The Braves can take advantage of whatever wiggle room he provides.
The Braves do have a team wRC+ of 123 off of righties this month. This number jumps to 141 against lefties, so they are hot from either side of the pitching rubber.
This means José Alvarado and Brad Hand might have some trouble if they enter the game after Wheeler’s day is done. Since Philly is without Connor Brogdon, it’s also a little short-handed in relief, too.
Even with Wheeler at the helm, backing Atlanta’s red-hot offense is the correct call in this game. 3.5 (-135) presents some value, especially with a few weak relievers in the Philly bullpen.
Building off of that, the Braves have shown they can hit both lefties and righties this month and will not let up against either.
Take this team total to 4 (-110).
Pick: Atlanta Braves o3.5 (-135) | play to 4 (-110)