Phillies vs. Blue Jays Odds & Prediction: How to Bet This Over/Under (Friday, May 14)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper.
- The Philadelphia Phillies will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida on Friday night.
- Vince Velasquez has struggled on the mound for the Phillies, and being shorthanded in the field certainly won't help their case against a solid Blue Jays lineup.
- Kevin Davis explains below why there's value on the total instead of taking the heavily-favored Blue Jays.
Phillies vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-152|
|Time||7:37 p.m. ET|
In this weekend’s interleague series, the Toronto Blue Jays host the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams are similar in that they are in second place in their divisions. Even though the series will be played in Dunedin, Florida, the Blue Jays have a level of home-field advantage.
Toronto’s roster is built for a designated hitter as it plays in the American League, while Philadelphia plays in the National League where pitchers hit. Additionally, the Phillies’ lineup is shorthanded.
From a betting angle, there are two questions for Friday night’s game: Can Philly overcome all of its disadvantages as small underdogs, and will we see a low-scoring game?
Phillies’ Velasquez Struggling on the Mound
One of the Phillies’ strengths is in their starting rotation. They have three solid pitchers this season in Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, and Zach Wheeler.
However, their starting pitcher for Friday’s game, Vince Velasquez, is not nearly as good as the top of the Philly rotation.
Velasquez started the season off in the bullpen. Over his last six seasons with the Phillies, Velasquez has been a regular fixture in the Phillies’ starting rotation. However, it should be worrying to Philly bettors on Friday that Velasquez did not make the rotation to start the season, but Matt Moore and Chase Anderson — two relatively mediocre pitchers — did.
The best way to describe Velasquez’s abilities is unnoteworthy. This season, he has a 4.18 ERA but a 5.89 FIP. Once you factor out the good fielding that Velasquez has had in his 23 2/3 innings this season, he should allow about six runs a game. Additionally, Velasquez has a negative WAR of -0.2, meaning the average replacement-level player would have done a better job than Velasquez.
Providing run support to Velasquez is a Phillies lineup that averages 5.1 runs per game, which is the fifth-most in the league. However, the Phillies will be without catcher JT Realmuto, who is the best hitting catcher in the league.
Additionally, Philadelphia’s team wRC+ is 91, meaning it should have scored 9% fewer runs than the league average, or about four runs a game.
Blue Jays’ Lineup Could Spell Trouble for Philly
Opposing the weakened Philly lineup for the Blue Jays is Steven Matz.
Since Matz left the New York Mets in the offseason, he has improved his performance from last season. Last year with the Mets, Matz posted an 0-5 record with a 9.68 ERA. However, Matz also had a 4.15 xFIP, which shows he was extremely unlucky last season.
This season, Matz has a 4.86 ERA, but he more importantly has a 3.78 xFIP. On Friday night, Matz should pitch for about five-to-six innings and allow around two earned runs.
Backing up Matz is a Toronto lineup that averages 4.92 runs per game, which is the eighth-best mark in the league. The only disadvantage the Blue Jays have is that they are without George Springer.
However, according to my model, their projected lineup would produce 4.55 runs on a typical night. The Blue Jays should be competitive against the Phillies based on the strength of their lineup going against a vulnerable pitcher in Velasquez.
Phillies-Blue Jays Pick
The Blue Jays should win on Friday night, and sadly, the odds reflect that. They have an edge in starting pitching, and their lineup is better positioned.
However, the total is inflated because of Velasquez and both teams’ lineups. With a run total at 10.5 runs, I like the under at +100, and I would bet it up to -110.
The Phillies’ lineup is shorthanded. Matz is a decent pitcher. Toronto alone cannot score 11 runs. That’s why the under is a good bet for Friday’s game.
Pick: Under 10.5 Runs (+100 | Play to -110)