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Thursday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Phillies: Expect Slow Start From Offenses in Matinee (August 12)

Thursday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Phillies: Expect Slow Start From Offenses in Matinee (August 12) article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers go for the series sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies in Thursday's MLB matinee.
  • Ranger Suárez gets the nod on the mound for the Phillies, who are hoping to savage a game in this confrontation.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down this contest below and details why he expects a quiet start.

Dodgers vs. Phillies Odds

Dodgers Odds-110
Phillies Odds-110
Time1:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday morning via DraftKings.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the Philadelphia Phillies run of eight consecutive victories, helping erase their two-game lead in the NL East. Now, the Dodgers go for the sweep Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

Joe Girardi's managerial decision to plan his pitching around the inevitable rain delay Wednesday and not start Kyle Gibson 20 minutes before first pitch  voided most tickets on the total. For those who did maintain their bets, they pushed anyway as the game ended with an 8-2 scoreline.

Thursday's series finale offers similar uncertainty, as both teams are going with a bullpen day of sorts. Lefty Ranger Suárez will start for the Phillies, but he's on a pitch limit and hasn't thrown more than three innings in an outing all year. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Mitch White for a few innings before going to the bullpen early on.

Los Angeles has had no issues creating runs this series, but almost all have come after the fifth inning. Suárez's early effectiveness creates value on the total in the first five innings.

Los Angeles Turning to White in Latest Meeting

The Dodgers are third in MLB in OPS+ against right-handed pitching. They have seen almost exclusively righties in this series from the Phillies, finding plenty of success mashing their pitching staff.

Los Angeles fell to 13th in OPS+ vs. LHP and will not have two of its top right-handed bats in Mookie Betts and Justin Turner. The Dodgers rank in the bottom 10 in strikeout rate against lefties, as well as 18th in OBP. If you're trying to go against them, it's usually best to do so when they're facing a lefty.

White, who's the projected starter, has been able to avoid hard contact in most of his appearances. His 3.75 xERA isn't anything special, but his 34.2% hard-hit rate and .357 xSLG allowed should keep the ball in the ballpark, which is a major key against a Philadelphia lineup lacking depth at the moment.

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Suárez Giving Philadelphia Ton of Pitching Flexibility

Philadelphia's offense has been largely silent this series, scoring two total runs in 18 innings on a Ronald Torreyes single. The Phillies lost J.T. Realmuto in the first inning to injury Wednesday and don't have Rhys Hoskins, who is on the Injured List. Andrew McCutchen is still finding his way back from an IL stint, so the Phillies lineup doesn't look particularly daunting.

Suárez has been an invaluable part of the Phillies pitching staff all season. He's appeared in middle relief and spent time as the team's closer. Now, he's being stretched out as a fifth starter once Zach Eflin returns from the IL. In the meantime, Suarez is the fourth starter and expected to try to pitch four full innings.

The 26-year-old is having career numbers across the board. His 0.98 ERA flatters him, but he's having career-high strikeout numbers, a .183 xBA against and career-low barrel rate allowed. Suárez's 29.1% hard-hit rate is a major key against the Dodgers on a day when the ball will be flying at Citizens Bank Park in the heat and humidity.

Dodgers-Phillies Pick

Both teams are looking to go with mostly a bullpen day, and both have seen extensive use throughout the series. The Phillies don't have any of their main long-relief guys going on regular rest, plus Suarez has been on a pitch count. I don't trust either team in the second half of this game, but early on, the under has plenty of value.

As potent as their lineup is, the Dodgers have relatively struggled against lefties this year. Suarez has been underrated in middle relief, as a closer and now as a starter. He can probably pitch four innings before the Phillies turn to their taxed bullpen.

Combine his effectiveness with Philadelphia's lineup that won't have two of its four best hitters and the result is a slow start.

Pick: First Five Innings Under 5.5 Runs (-110 or better)

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