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Sunday MLB Odds, Picks & Prediction for Phillies vs Astros (April 30)

Sunday MLB Odds, Picks & Prediction for Phillies vs Astros (April 30) article feature image

Via Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Seattle Mariners at Citizens Bank Park on April 27, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • The Phillies look for a road sweep of the Astros on Sunday Night Baseball tonight.
  • The Astros are struggling without several key players, but can they rally in primetime in this World Series rematch?
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Phillies vs Astros Odds

Sunday, April 30
7:08 p.m. ET
Phillies Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100/ -122
Astros Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100 / -122
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Phillies are exorcising their demons this weekend as they are hunting for a sweep against the Astros in Houston on Sunday Night Baseball.

This series doesn’t mean as much as last October’s did, but some revenge would be nice.

I think that might happen. Find out why below in this Phillies vs. Astros MLB betting preview.

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Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have won six of seven.

This lineup was never going to struggle as much as it did to start the season. There’s too much talent up and down the roster, although it’s surprising that Brandon Marsh is the team’s most productive hitter (202 OPS+).

Bryce Harper should return in May, and that’ll be the spark that brings this lineup back to its full potential.

The bullpen has completely turned it around. The Phillies had the second-worst reliever ERA (7.19) and xFIP (5.40) from March 30 to April 15 but rank top-seven in both stats since then.

Jose Alvarado might be the best reliever in the game currently. He leads the league in Strikeout Rate (55.8%) behind his insane sinker-cutter mix, and he’s posted a 0.73 ERA over 12 appearances.

Look at this three-pitch mix — he’s done this to every batter he’s faced this season.

José Alvarado has basically turned into an 80-grade stuff AND command guy this season.

He’s struck out 24(!) of the first 43 batted he’s faced this year, walked none, and allowed just one run (0.73 ERA).

— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) April 29, 2023

Alvarado hasn’t walked a batter since September 21 of last season!

The rotation is a bit sketchy, especially since Taijuan Walker exited last start with an injury (Walker has gotten good news since). It’d be nice if Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler could get it together, especially since the former is dealing with velocity issues.

I don’t feel great about this starting pitcher, either…

Starting pitcher: Bailey Falter (LHP)

I still characterize Falter as a soft-tossing southpaw, but that’s not entirely the case. He stands 6-foot-4 and gets 7 1/2 feet of extension, so his 90 mph fastball plays more like a 94 mph fastball.

But outside of an unconventional approach angle, Falter doesn’t have much in the way of stuff. He ranks below the seventh percentile of pitchers in fastball and curveball Spin Rate, so he rarely misses bats.

In fact, the Stuff+ on his whole arsenal has fallen below 80.

Falter makes up for that with great location and command (career 4.5% Walk Rate, 3.6% this year) alongside a curveball that forces whiffs behind 55 inches of drop. Unfortunately, he still can’t force strikeouts with his lackluster stuff.

Falter is also simply a hittable pitcher. He throws mostly stuff in the zone and boasts a 94.4% Zone Contact Rate, and his batted-ball profile isn’t pretty:

However, Falter still projects as a back-end MLB starter who can eat up innings. He gives the ever-dangerous Phillies lineup a chance to win.

Houston Astros

The Astros just need to get healthy. Michael Brantley, Chas McCormick, Lance McCullers and Jose Altuve are all still on the IL, and Yordan Alvarez just returned from the list.

Also, Jose Abreu has been horrific. His 54 wRC+ is genuinely shocking, fueled by a 3.3% Walk Rate and horrific batted-ball profile.

It’s clear he’s still shaking the White Sox stink off.

The injuries have taken a toll on the lineup, as the usually red-hot Astros boast a 97 wRC+ this season. The ‘Stros boast a lackluster .636 OPS over the last two weeks.

But Houston has kept its head above water, racking up a 14-12 record behind a solid bullpen and above-average defense. The Astros will stay afloat until reinforcements arrive, and that’s when you’ll want to back them.

Starting pitcher: Jose Urquidy (RHP)

In a rotation full of aces, Urquidy is best known for not being an ace.

He’s a one-win pitcher who should manage 150 innings with slightly below-average metrics. However, he will get there with 75 innings of brilliant ball and 75 innings of horrendous ball.

Urquidy can sometimes force a tremendous amount of weak contact with his low-90s fastball while simultaneously forcing chases with a half-decent changeup-curveball mix.

And other times, he serves up middle-middle meatballs, so he struggles with the long ball (career 12.5% HR/FB rate).

Urquidy has made an interesting change to his arsenal in the early going. He’s upped his sweeper usage (as everyone has) while severely cutting his fastball usage and adding a sinker.

So far, the results are mixed. His avg. EV allowed is down, and his Chase Rate is up. But his Walk Rate is also up, which is already troublesome for a guy who can struggle with command.

Urquidy’s ERA is uber-high, but his xERA and xFIP are in the 4.75 range. Projections have him finishing as a mid-4.00s ERA pitcher over a 120-inning sample size, granted he can cut down on the free passes.

Phillies vs. Astros Betting Pick

The starting pitching matchup is a wash, as Urquidy and Falter both project as high-4.00s ERA pitchers.

However, there’s a huge discrepancy between the two lineup cards.

The Phillies boast a top-10 lineup against right-handed pitchers (Urquidy) by OPS, wOBA and wRC+ over the last two weeks. During that same stretch, the Astros have been a bottom-10 lineup against left-handed pitchers (Falter), posting an abysmal 72 wRC+ against that side.

The Astros have the defensive advantage, but the Phillies have a solid bullpen advantage, especially with how well the Philadelphia relievers are pitching.

The public looks to be backing the Astros to avoid a home sweep on Sunday Night Baseball, with over 80% of the spread tickets and handle on Houston. Nonetheless, the line has moved toward the Phillies, otherwise known as reverse line movement, a generally profitable bet signal.

Pair the market with the Phillies’ advantages, and I actually expect a World Series revenge sweep in Houston. You want to fade the Astros now when they’re injured and overvalued, and the Phillies can take advantage of that on Sunday Night.

Pick: Phillies ML +128 (Bet to +120)

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