Brewers vs. Phillies Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take Phillies in First Five Frames (April 24)
Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola.
- The Philadelphia Phillies host the Milwaukee Brewers in Sunday's MLB showdown.
- The Phillies are -155 moneyline favorites to win outright, but analyst BJ Cunningham has better value on the club in the prop market.
- Check out below where he's landed for his best bet.
Brewers vs. Phillies Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
The Phillies look to turn around their bad start to the season on Sunday Night Baseball, as they go for a series win against the Brewers.
Milwaukee’s solid beginning has been buoyed by some solid starting pitching and a fantastic bullpen, which is what won it the NL Central a season ago. The Brewers will send one of their more surprising success stories in Eric Lauer to the mound in hopes he can bring home a series win.
On the other side, the Phillies have struggled out of gates with a 6-9 to start their campaign. The offense has been hitting the ball fantastic, but it has been the same story as last year, as the Philadelphia bullpen continues to struggle. Manager Joe Girardi is hoping sending Aaron Nola to the mound will give his bullpen a break.
The offense has been struggling to start. Milwaukee has only put up a .286 wOBA through their first 15 games, which is 21st in MLB. The problem is the heart of their lineup hasn’t been that great. Christian Yelich, Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe have a wOBA under .315, but Yelich and McCutchen are due for some positive regression with an xwOBA over .360.
The matchup against Nola is interesting. Milwaukee has been very average against right-handed pitching (94 wRC+), which is a carryover from last season and the only pitch they have a positive run value against are cutters. Nola predominately has an arsenal of fastball, curveball, sinker and changeup.
Last season, Milwaukee absolutely obliterated fastballs, sinkers, and changeups, putting up a combined +65.4 run value against those three pitches. However, they were one of the worst offenses against curveballs (-9.8 run value).
So, we’ll see if the Brewers can break out of their slump against a pitch arsenal that they hit well last year.
The Phillies’ offense hasn’t been the problem so far, as it’s in the top five of MLB in wOBA, wRC+, ISO, K% and home runs. The additions of Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber seem to be paying dividends, but the surprising emergence of Alec Bohm, who is hitting for a .440 average and a .471 xwOBA gives Philadelphia one of the most lethal offenses in baseball.
Hey, maybe he actually likes Philadelphia now.
"I f***ing hate this place." – Alec Bohm
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 12, 2022
The matchup against Eric Lauer should be a fantastic one, because Philly has come out of the gates drilling left handed pitching. The Phillies lead baseball with a staggering .415 wOBA against left handed pitching, which is a tad surprising given they were 16th in wOBA against lefties a season ago.
Eric Lauer has a four-pitch arsenal of fastball, curveball, cutter and slider. Philadelphia has a +10.6 run value against fastballs, curveballs and cutters to being the season, but it’s struggling against sliders with a -3.5 run value. That being said, given its success against left-handed pitching and three of Lauer’s four pitches, this is a great matchup for Philadelphia.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Eric Lauer vs. Aaron Nola
Brewers Starting Pitcher
Eric Lauer, LHP
2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Lauer has been solid through his first two starts, essentially mimicking his numbers from last year keeping is xERA below four. However, control issues have plagued Lauer over his career and so far he’s given up two home runs in his first two starts, but does have his BB/9 rate below three, which if that holds up would be the first time in his career he would be able to do so.
Lauer is predominantly a fastball/cutter pitcher and then can mix and match three offspeed pitches. The velocity on both his fastball and cutter are up over one mph this year, as compared to last year, which could be beneficial going forward.
However, his fastball and cutter are only average in terms of how opponents hit them them a season ago, as you can see above. His curveball and slider were pretty effective and he will have to utilize both of those pitches quite often to slow down the Phillies lineup.
Phillies Starting Pitcher
Aaron Nola, RHP
2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Aaron Nola has really established himself over the past two years as one of the best pitchers in the National League. In 2020 and 2021, the seventh overall pick in 2014 has posted xERA’s below 3.40 and had K/9 rates over 11. This season through three starts has been no different, but he’s been pretty unfortunate.
Nola’s ERA has ballooned up 5.52, but his xERA is at 3.35 and his xFIP is at 3.31, so he’s due for some positive regression. What has made Nola so dominant over the past two years is because he’s become less fastball dependent and is throwing his best pitch, his curveball, way more often.
Aaron Nola, Wicked 79mph Curveball. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/5AfNqbsh5Q
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 29, 2022
Last year, his curveball produced a 36.5% whiff rate last season and opponents only had a .189 xBA, so he’s going to need to utilize that pitch a lot tonight if he is able to be successful against Milwaukee’s lineup.
The Brewers should have the advantage in the later innings with the best 8th/9th inning combination in baseball in Devin Williams and Josh Hader. It’s been a struggle for the Phillies bullpen early on as their ERA is sitting at 4.87 and are bottom five in MLB in BB/9 rate and LOB percentage.
I believe the starting pitching matchup greatly favors this Phillies in this matchup given Nola’s success over the past two seasons and Philadelphia’s ability to crush left handed pitching.
I have the first-five innings spread projected at -0.75, so I like the value we’re getting on Philadelphia -0.5 at -115 odds.
Pick: Phillies — F5 -0.5 (-115)