Wednesday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Phillies vs. Braves Betting Preview (June 9)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Braves pitcher Tucker Davidson and catcher William Contreras.
- The Philies host the Braves on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
- The Braves will sent young lefty Tucker Davidson to the mound against Zach Eflin, who has been steady all season.
- D.J. James previews the matchup and makes his Braves-Phillies pick below.
Braves vs. Phillies Odds
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday evening and via PointsBet.|
In a battle for second (somehow) in the National League East, two below-.500 teams go head-to-head on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Zach Eflin of the Phillies faces the No. 8 prospect in the Atlanta Braves’ farm system, Tucker Davidson.
Eflin has had a relatively unlucky season (3.54 xERA vs. 4.10 ERA), while Davidson has torn his way into the NL East with only three runs allowed in two starts. With two ailing bullpens, which starting pitcher will come out ahead?
Eflin A Tough Matchup For Braves’ Offense
The Atlanta offense propelled its way to victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, escaping with a tight series win. Unfortunately, the Braves’ leg up on the Phillies’ offense is somewhat eliminated when they face a righty and the Phillies battle a southpaw.
Ronald Acuña, Jr. leads the offense with 17 home runs, but they will need more than that to have an advantage. Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Guillermo Heredia and Ozzie Albies are the only other above-average hitters against righties.
And while the Braves have an impressive 10.4% team walk percentage against righties, Eflin is not the type of pitcher known to issue free passes. He’s walked only 2.6% of batters he’s faced this year. The Braves’ patience edge is essentially nullified.
Both of these bullpens are subpar, and Atlanta really only has about three viable options if Davidson cannot pitch deep into this ballgame. Those names include Tyler Matzek, A.J. Minter and Will Smith. Otherwise, they are pretty much guaranteed to allow a few extra insurance runs to the other team.
Phillies Have Edge Against Southpaws
The Phillies have a similarly weak bullpen, but do have a few more options to default to if Zach Eflin struggles early. The only way this scenario happens, though, is if the Braves hit Eflin hard right away since he walks batters less often than almost anyone in baseball.
The Phillies are an above-average offensive squad against lefties (103 wRC+), and this is the equalizer when facing a young southpaw from the Braves. However, keep an eye on early strikeouts for the Phillies. They rank 28th in MLB in strikeouts against left-handers. Davidson will throw the fastball about 93 mph on average, but with a high and early strikeout trends, the Phillies could be in poor shape.
The edge here is how many hitters the Phillies have who can hit lefties. Out of their regulars, only Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius (on the injured list) are sub-100 wRC+ hitting off of left-handers. Yes, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Brad Miller, and Andrew McCutchen all strike out at an alarming rate versus lefties, but the rest of their numbers indicate success off of a young lefty like Davidson.
Given this series of variables, I give Philadelphia the slight edge with the bullpen, and the complete edge with the lineup. The Braves can hit lefties and righties equally well, but the Phillies excel against lefties, hence why I will be betting them in this game.
Even with the mainstays of their lineup striking out relatively often, they should be able to string together a series of baserunners early. If Davidson can only manage to pitch a few innings, Atlanta will be in trouble. Their bullpen is weak and if Davidson cannot handle the Phillies’ lineup, the game could be over early. Take the Phillies -116 to -130.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -116 (play to -130)
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