MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Phillies vs. Dodgers: Wheeler, Kershaw Should Keep Score Low (Wednesday, June 16)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Zack Wheeler
- Los Angeles and Philadelphia meet for the third game of their three-game set in California on Wednesday.
- The Dodgers will attempt at the sweep with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, facing Zack Wheeler.
- Kenny Ducey explains, below, why the two stud pitchers will dominate the night.
Phillies vs. Dodgers Odds
|Over/Under||7 (-112 / -108)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via FanDuel.|
In what could be one of the best pitching matchups all season long, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Wheeler will do battle in a meeting of two Cy Young hopefuls Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Though Wheeler comes in the hotter of the two, Kershaw should have the decisive edge when it comes to the competition level he’ll face. With that, will there even be any runs scored here? Let’s find some value in this game.
Struggling Offense Looks To Hit Kershaw
The Phillies’ offense is in a rough place. They’re down to 19th with a 84 wRC+ over the past week and while they do hit better against lefties than righties, they have a number of injuries they’re dealing with now.
Jean Segura and Bryce Harper — the two bats which have led the Phillies out of countless dark times offensively — both left with injuries on Tuesday. Joe Girardi acknowledged Harper will likely miss this game against the Dodgers, while Segura’s injury, he said, is feared to be one that could land him on the 10-day IL.
Without those two, the prospects of scoring runs here are going to be grim. J.T. Realmuto is .200 off of lefties this year, Alec Bohm and Rhys Hoskins are still mired in slumps, and guys who had helped like Odubel Herrera have now cooled off. To make matters worse, the Dodgers will throw Kershaw at this hopeless group of hitters.
Luckily for the Phillies, they have Zack Wheeler going today. All he’s done is rank in the top 4% of the league with a 2.42 expected ERA according to Statcast, and also in fastball velocity, pumping over 97 mph with his four-seamer. He’s walked just 5.2% of hitters, striking out a staggering 32.4%, and has transformed himself into a dominant starter after flashing his talent in spurts over recent years.
Dodgers Not At Their Best, But Still Better
It’s hard to say the Dodgers have been at their best, even though few teams have been better over the past week or two in terms of creating runs. Compared to their World Series form, they’ve been quite tame, scoring eight runs in the first two games of this series, and aside from a 12-run outburst against the struggling Mike Foltynewicz, they have not really dominated at the dish.
It’s also hard to say Kershaw has been at his best this year. He’s been strong in the strikeout and walk departments yet again, but he’s allowed hard contact at a 5% higher rate this season, and to that point has also seen his ERA balloon to 3.39.
He seemed to be back to himself in six strong innings against the Rangers, where he struck out nine hitters, but he’s now allowed five earned runs in three of his previous six outings. He’s continued punching out hitters, but has yet to really show his dominance, completing more than seven innings just once.
Of course, that could all change on Wednesday against a Phillies offense that is totally lost, and one which he owned the last time he saw it in 2019.
Here, we have a case of one of the most dominant starters in baseball going up against an offense that’s good, not great, and a pitcher who we know can be dominant facing a lineup that was already struggling and is now hurt.
With that, I don’t see a way through Kershaw for the Phillies, and I’d be shocked to see Wheeler let up more than a few runs. That makes the decision to the under quite easy here.
Pick: Under 7 (-108)