Phillies vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Both Starting Pitchers Are Unlikely to Play Big Roles (Monday, June 14)

Phillies vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Both Starting Pitchers Are Unlikely to Play Big Roles (Monday, June 14) article feature image
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenley Jansen is congratulated by Clayton Kershaw and Albert Pujols after his 327th career save.

  • The Phillies and Dodgers begin a series on Monday night in Los Angeles.
  • Spencer Howard takes the mound for Philadelphia against LA's Tony Gonsolin.
  • Michael Arinze previews the game below and makes his betting prediction.

Phillies vs. Dodgers Odds

Phillies Odds +145
Dodgers Odds -165
Over/Under 9.5 (+100 / -120)
Time 10:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Monday and via bet365.

The Phillies will look to extend their four-game winning streak when they head west to take on the Dodgers in a three-game series. Both teams come into the matchup having won seven of their last 10 games. In addition, both teams will feature two starters who are unlikely to pitch deep into the game.

Spencer Howard will get the start for Philadelphia, while Los Angeles will counter with Tony Gonsolin. Neither starter has spent more than three years in the big leagues, so the pitcher vs. batter data is extremely limited.

Nonetheless, we’ll compile the available information and see if there’s a play worth being made on this ballgame.

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Phillies’ Bullpen Should Be Ready

In nine career starts, Howard has lasted five innings just once in the majors. This season, he hasn’t pitched more than four innings in a game. Howard was originally going to pitch out of the bullpen to allow the Phillies to manage his workload as a young prospect. Keep in mind that Philadelphia originally signed Chase Anderson and Matt Moore to fill out the back end of its rotation.

In Anderson’s first eight starts, he went 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA and averaged 4 1/3 innings per start. Moore was even worse as he had a 9.82 ERA after three starts in April. Both pitchers are now out of the rotation, and the Phillies have been forced to elevate Howard’s role out of necessity. The only problem is that Howard is clearly on an innings or pitch limit that the organization is unwilling even to disclose.

This season, he’s 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He’s made 12 appearances overall in his career and is averaging roughly 2 1/3 innings per start. His advanced numbers show signs of positive regression, as evidenced by his 3.23 FIP and 3.49 xERA. Nonetheless, it’s almost futile to focus too much on Howard, considering he’s likely to be limited in terms of innings yet again.

If we turn our attention to the Phillies’ bullpen, we’ll find a unit that’s ranked 21st with a 4.55 ERA. Their 4.63 FIP points to a slight regression, but it’s not alarming enough that to be worth noting.

Philadelphia did get a chance to rest some arms in their bullpen on Sunday after Aaron Nola pitched 7 2/3 innings of shutout baseball against the Yankees.

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Dodgers Rely On Gonsolin Following Return From Injury

Like Howard, Gonsolin is still fairly early in his MLB career. The California native has been fairly regularly featured in the Dodgers’ rotation since debuting as a starter in June of 2019. In 15 career starts and 21 appearances, Gonsolin is 6-4 with a 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. A shoulder injury in spring training forced him to miss the first two months of the season and he made his first start just five days ago.

There were some clear signs of rust in his outing as he walked five batters and was pulled after throwing 66 pitches in 1 2/3 innings. He did manage to strike out four batters despite his shaky start, so there were some positives to take away from the game.

While there may have been some early jitters for Gonsolin in his season debut, I suspect he’ll pitch much better with that start under his belt. Nonetheless, the fact that he had such a short outing could mean that he’ll require a few more games before he can be fully stretched out. As a result, there’s no guarantee that he’ll even pitch deep enough to factor in the decision.

If you compare both bullpens in terms of runs allowed, it would be fair to conclude that the Dodgers have the edge. After all, they’re ranked 14th with a 3.89 ERA.

Like the Phillies, the Dodgers’ 4.11 FIP points to a slight regression, but the disparity isn’t large enough to create a greater concern.

One thing to keep in mind is that both bullpens have had their struggles late in games. Each has allowed 14 blown saves which rank second from the bottom in baseball.

Phillies-Dodgers Pick

The handicap for this game will likely come down to the offenses for both teams and their bullpens. We haven’t discussed the offense so let’s touch on that briefly.

The Dodgers are third with a wRC+ of 113, whereas the Phillies have a below-average value of 94. Thus, Los Angeles is more likely to create more runs than Philadelphia.

That’s all that you can ask for when trying to decide who to put your hard-earned money behind.

On Sunday, I shared that favorites have had quite a run thus far in June.

Here's how June has gone so far for favorites in the #MLB #MLBPicks #MLBTwitter pic.twitter.com/iFAI43Vtkq

— Vegas Analytics (@Vegas_Analytics) June 13, 2021

It wouldn’t surprise me if that continues on Monday night in Dodger Stadium.

Since 2015, the Phillies are just 4-13 for a loss of 5.72 units when they travel to Dodger Stadium.

Bet365 has the best price on the board, with Los Angeles at -165. That, to me, would be the best way to get involved in this game.

Pick: Dodgers ML (-165)

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