Diamondbacks vs Phillies Pick Today | MLB Odds, Predictions for Thursday (June 15)
Pictured: Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
- The Arizona Diamondbacks host the Philadelphia Phillies in the finale of a four-game series on Thursday afternoon.
- Ace Aaron Nola is set to take the mound for Philadelphia, while Arizona will turn to their young hurler, Ryne Nelson.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Odds
The Phillies continue to hover around .500 and are looking to pick up another win in Thursday's series finale against the Diamondbacks. With two struggling starters taking the ball, is there an edge to be found?
Let's break it down in our Phillies vs. Diamondbacks betting preview.
Philadelphia will hand the ball to Aaron Nola in the midst of what's been a very bizarre season for the veteran right-hander. It seemed like Nola had found his form after a rough start to the season, but his struggles continued in May, when he pitched to a 4.93 ERA over six starts. To begin June, he turned in one of his best outings of the season against the Tigers, striking out 12 over seven innings without allowing an earned run, but turned right back around and allowed six earned runs over 6 1/3 frames against the Dodgers last week.
Nola's strikeout rate is down from 29.1% last season to 23.7%, so it certainly makes sense that with more batted balls comes more volatility. With that being said, his .237 expected batting average and 3.78 xERA suggests the former All-Star has been the victim of some rotten luck. The fastball that worked so well for him a season ago has been even better in 2023 with a .180 xBA and a 21.6% whiff rate, which is comparable to the 24.2% whiff rate he generated last year. The curveball has also been working, but the sinker has a .481 xSLG.
At any rate, the offense behind Nola should continue to thrive. Philadelphia finds itself inside the top five in wRC+ over the past two weeks and has stolen a whopping 14 bags to go along with 17 home runs.
The Diamondbacks' offense also finds itself inside the top 10 when it comes to wRC+ over the past two weeks. Arizona rivals Philadelphia with 13 homers and 12 steals over the past two weeks, but sports a better .187 ISO and a very low 18.9% strikeout rate. The Phillies have had a bit more batted ball luck, but it's clear these offenses are equally hot.
Ryne Nelson will get the start and try to build momentum off an excellent outing last week against the Tigers (5 2/3 scoreless innings). The bad news is that aside from that start, against perhaps the worst offense in baseball, Nelson has been bad.
The 25-year-old Oregon product has pitched almost exclusively to contact with a 14.2% strikeout rate, but his expected batting average stands at .270 and his xSLG is at .449.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Betting Pick
The Phillies rank sixth in pitch value per 100 four-seam fastballs, according to Statcast, which should mean bad news for Nelson. On the other hand, the Diamondbacks are second in run value against sinkers, which is where Nola has been most vulnerable this year. When you add that on top of the fact that Arizona is also top five against the fastball, I think you can make a pretty good argument that the Diamondbacks are in equally as good a spot as the Phillies.
Carson Kelly started behind the plate Wednesday, which should mean we'll see Gabriel Moreno catch Thursday. Moreno leads all catchers with six caught stealings above average and that could be the edge Arizona needs with Philadelphia running wild on the bases.
While I love the way Philadelphia is hitting right now, I don't see this team as any better than Arizona. Defense and catching could wind up flipping the script, and it doesn't help that Nola matches up poorly with the Diamondbacks.
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