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Dodgers vs. Phillies Odds, Picks, Predictions: Target Philly Early With Bryce Harper in the Lineup (Saturday, May 21)

Dodgers vs. Phillies Odds, Picks, Predictions: Target Philly Early With Bryce Harper in the Lineup (Saturday, May 21) article feature image
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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper

  • The Dodgers are slight favorites on the road against the Phillies this evening.
  • Aaron Nola takes the mound for Philadelphia, while Los Angeles will have a bullpen game starting with Mitch White.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bryce Harper has been cleared to return to the lineup for the Philadelphia Phillies. Check out our MLB Lineups page for up to date information.


Dodgers vs. Phillies Odds

Dodgers Odds +112
Phillies Odds -132
Over/Under 9
Time 6:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

A week after dropping three of four to the Philadelphia Phillies at home, the Los Angeles Dodgers responded with a 4-1 win Friday night at Citizens Bank Park on the back of Julio Urias’ five shutout innings. 

The Phillies remained shorthanded with Bryce Harper day-to-day and scored just one run — in the ninth inning — in the loss. They look to bounce back with Aaron Nola on the mound this Saturday. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will open with Mitch White in what appears to be a bullpen game. 

Can the Phillies respond with a win of their own at home, or will the Dodgers offense get to Nola after seeing him just a week ago?

Dodgers Having Bullpen Game

White has been reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list and will start Saturday night against the Phillies. 

White has a 4.82 ERA but a 3.50 xFIP and 3.35 xERA while holding opponents to a .204 xBA over 9 1/3 innings. 

There’s not much to take away from 2022 for the 27-year-old, but last season he was much more effective at home than on the road, where his ERA nearly doubled. 

White won’t go deep into the game and should be on a pitch count tonight. It’s expected the right-hander will throw around three innings before the Dodgers opt for a bullpen game. 

The Dodgers bullpen ranks sixth in bullpen ERA this season and ranks inside the top 10 in home runs allowed. They allow the fewest walks in baseball, too.

Phillies’ Nola Should Find Better Luck

There should be no concern when it comes to Nola and how he’ll fare in the coming weeks.

Despite the right-hander’s 1-4 record and 3.67 ERA, his underlying metrics indicate he’s been quite misfortunate in the early going of 2022. 

Nola’s xERA sits nearly a run lower than his actual ERA at 2.70, and his xFIP is 2.73. Opponents have just a .211 xBA, as Nola has consistently limited hard contact and forced more ground balls this season.

Much of that comes from an increase in sinkers, and his fastball (.114 BA) has been incredibly effective. Nola doesn’t walk many batters and his only flaw has been the long ball. 

All signs point to Nola remaining one of the Phillies’ top arms, as he should regress toward his dominant self in the coming weeks. Nola will face the Dodgers for a second straight time, entering tonight fresh off a seven inning, two-run outing.

It’s also important to note that Harper has not played in the last week with an elbow injury. He remains day-to-day and his status is in question for Saturday night’s matchup. 

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Dodgers-Phillies Pick

Since Harper’s injury, the Phillies offense has taken a significant step back. Over the last seven days, they rank 21st in wRC+ and 25th in wOBA. If he doesn’t return on Saturday night, I’d expect a pretty similar offensive output for the Phillies against a talented Dodgers bullpen. 

And while the Dodgers offense has been particularly effective all season long — especially against right-handers — they draw a tough matchup with Nola on the mound. 

The Dodgers are an incredibly patient team that walks frequently. They are first in walk rate and force pitchers into tough spots because of their plate discipline. But Nola isn’t the type of pitcher that will give free passes. 

While I do think the Phillies hold a slight edge on Saturday night and do lean their way on the moneyline, I don’t think I can back them without Harper in the lineup. Instead, I’m looking toward the first five under. 

If Harper does return, the Phillies are worth a play on the first five moneyline. But if not, I think both Nola and the White-Dodgers bullpen game should limit hard contact en route to a low scoring game. 

I don’t trust the Phillies bullpen to back the under for the full game, so look toward the first half instead. 

Pick: First 5 Innings Under 4.5 runs (+100) | Phillies F5 ML (up to -130), if Harper plays

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