Phillies vs. Red Sox Odds & Pick: Back Philly For First 5 Innings On Wednesday

Credit:

Hunter Martin/Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Arrieta.

  • The Phillies and Red Sox are trending in opposite directions as they head into the second leg of their two-game series.
  • Philly won the first meeting ,13-6, so what can you expect on Wednesday?
  • Brad Cunningham analyzes the odds and explains why he's betting the Phillies first five innings.

Phillies vs. Red Sox Betting Odds

Phillies Odds -143 [Bet Now]
Red Sox Odds +120 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 11 (-106/-115) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 1:30 p.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Philadelphia extended its win streak to four games after an incredible offensive performance on Tuesday. It’s now only two games back of the Braves for first place in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been the worst team in baseball over the past 10 days, losing nine in a row.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning. 

Phillies

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

Philadelphia has been fantastic offensively to start the season. It has the second-best wOBA (.344) and the fourth-best wRC+ (117) in MLB. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto have led the Phillies’ offense, combining for 12 home runs and 32 RBIs in 17 games.

The Phillies have been absolutely mashing left-handed pitching so far in 2020. In 204 plate appearances, they have a .382 wOBA and 144 wRC+, which is significantly higher than their numbers against right-handers. They should have no trouble on Wednesday against a below-average lefty like Boston’s Kyle Hart.

Phillies Projected Starter

Jake Arrieta, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Arrieta has been OK through his first three starts, allowing seven earned runs in 15.2 innings of work. His sinker, which is his go-to pitch, hasn’t been very effective, as he’s allowed a .384 wOBA to opponents this season.

In fact, Arrieta’s sinker hasn’t been very effective for the past few years. During his breakout season in 2015, Arrieta was dominant with the pitch, allowing a .191 BA and .236 wOBA to opponents. Fast forward to 2020, and he hasn’t come close to reaching those numbers.

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Red Sox

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

Boston’s offense has been pretty average to begin the season, holding a .313 wOBA and 93 wRC+. The offense hasn’t really been the problem for this season, but it certainly hasn’t helped, as it ranks near the bottom of MLB against all pitch types. What’s interesting is the fact that Boston was one of the best fastball/sinker hitting teams last season, but so far in 2020, it has struggled, ranking 29th in MLB against those two pitches.

Arrieta’s sinker hasn’t been great, but Boston’s offense has looked lifeless over the past week (.249 BA & .302 wOBA), so the Philly right-hander should be fine on Wednesday.

Red Sox Projected Starter

Kyle Hart, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Hart’s first start in the big leagues did not go well. He couldn’t get past the second inning, giving up seven hits and five earned runs to the Rays. He had a lot of control issues, walking four batters and serving up pitches left and right.

Hart spent all of last season at Triple-A, and it didn’t go well. He posted a 5.17 xFIP in just over 100 innings, which does not bode well for him facing a red-hot Phillies lineup. Under normal circumstances, I don’t think Hart would ever have been called up to the big leagues, but the Red Sox are in dire need for help in their rotation.

Bullpens

Boston’s bullpen hasn’t been great thus far, but it’s not all bad news. It has a collective xFIP of 4.25, which is 14th in MLB so far this year.

On the other side, the Phillies’ bullpen has been a disaster. They collectively hold an ERA of 8.77 and an xFIP of 4.64, which rank near the bottom of MLB.

Projections and Pick

In my opinion, the current moneylines for both teams and the total do not provide any value. However, I think there’s some value on the Phillies for the first five innings. The matchup of Philadelphia’s offense against Kyle Hart is a complete mismatch and could allow the Phillies to jump out to an early lead. Therefore, I am going to back the Phillies for the first five innings at -112 (DraftKings) and would bet it down to -105.

Pick: Phillies First Five Innings (-112)

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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