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MLB Odds & Picks for Phillies vs. Dodgers: Why Philadelphia is Undervalued on Road

MLB Odds & Picks for Phillies vs. Dodgers: Why Philadelphia is Undervalued on Road article feature image
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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Castellanos (left) and Bryce Harper (right).

  • The Philadelphia Phillies head out west to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Walker Buehler will start in place of Clayton Kershaw, who has been placed on the 15-day IL.
  • Read on for Michael Arinze's full betting guide and pick below.

Phillies vs. Dodgers Odds

Phillies Odds +200
Dodgers Odds -250
Over/Under 8
Time 10:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Editor’s Note: Walker Buehler will start in place of Clayton Kershaw (pelvis), who has been placed on the 15-day IL.

With the New York Mets off to such a fast start, the Philadelphia Phillies can ill afford to drop much further behind in the NL East.

We’re slightly more than a month into the season, and Philadelphia is already 6.5 games out of first place. Though it’s still too early to concede the division, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Phillies are also keeping an eye on the Wild Card race, which they trail by 2.5 games.

While a successful stretch out West could certainly turn things around, it won’t get any easier with three upcoming games against the Dodgers. However, Philadelphia is already 3-1 on this trip, including a victory over the Dodgers in the series opener.

The bar will be more demanding on Friday, with Los Angeles sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound. Philadelphia will counter with Kyle Gibson, who finally looks like he’s settling in.

As good as the Dodgers (20-10) have been this season, bettors are only up 0.2 units when backing them. Thus, underdogs are more likely to offer value against Los Angeles, and Friday’s matchup is another example that supports that assertion.

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Phillies Could Cause Trouble At the Plate

Things didn’t entirely turn out as planned in 2021 when the Phillies acquired Gibson from the Rangers at the trade deadline. In 19 appearances with Texas, he went 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA. However, in 12 outings with the Phillies, he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA.

While it certainly appears that Gibson struggled in Philadelphia, the reality is he probably pitched a bit better than those numbers show. For example, his 1.29 WHIP with Philadelphia was only .11 points higher than when he was with Texas.

Moreover, his 4.04 FIP and 4.12 xFIP were more than a run lower than his traditional ERA. And although his advanced numbers point to a slight regression, a 3.63 FIP and 3.42 xFIP are still considered above average.

Overall, Gibson finished the season with a 3.67 SIERA, which indeed projected well for him in this upcoming season. Gibson is currently 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP through six starts.

Whenever the Phillies can get anything out of their pitchers, there’s a good chance they’re going to be in good shape.

After all, Philadelphia boasts one of the most potent offenses in the majors. The Phillies rank 10th with a wRC+ value of 108, per FanGraphs. They’re also ranked fourth with a .326 wOBA, which is even higher than the Dodgers (.323 wOBA).

Philadelphia’s been on a tear at the plate, as it’s one of only five teams hitting above .250 on the year.

What’s been equally impressive is the Phillies’ success against both right-handers and left-handers. Philadelphia has a .251/.313/.416 line against righties vs. a .255/.316/.435 split against lefties. That success lefties should give them some confidence ahead of their matchup against a tough southpaw like Kershaw.

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Can Kershaw Curve Philly?

After five starts, it looks like Kershaw’s fully recovered from the elbow injury that forced him to miss the 2021 postseason. The future Hall-of-Famer has won all four of his decisions and boasts a 1.80 ERA with a 0.73 WHIP. His advanced numbers are more than favorable, given his 2.26 FIP and 2.41 xFIP.

However, while it’s hard to find much of a fault with how Kershaw’s performed this year, the Dodgers did lose to the lowly Tigers after he pitched six innings of one-run ball.

Anything is possible in baseball if a team like the Tigers — ranked 28th in wRC+ (79) — can pull off such an upset as close to a 3-1 underdog. The reality is that the Dodgers rarely offer much value because bookmakers often inflate their lines. And when facing a team that hits as well as the Phillies, an implied value of 71.43% with odds as high as -235 seems a bit of a stretch.

Given what we’ve seen from the Phillies thus far, I don’t see them backing down from the challenge of facing Kershaw.  I took a look at his head-to-head numbers against the Phillies, and the Dodgers are just 8-8 in starts. Against the rest of the league, however, the Dodgers are 246-119.

On Thursday, the Phillies showed tremendous character in bouncing back after blowing a 7-1 lead. Even though momentum in baseball is often reserved for the next day’s pitcher, I don’t think it’s worth the premium bettors have to pay to back Kershaw.

Phillies-Dodgers Pick

It’s challenging to turn a profit in baseball if you habitually back favorites at -200 odds or higher. Our ActionLabs database shows that this season, favorites in this spot are 59-25 but for only .80 units in profit.

Moreover, favorites with a starting left-hander have done far worse, as they’re 19-14 for a loss of 5.41 units. It’s worth noting that Philadelphia’s a perfect 2-0 (2.43 units) when facing a left-handed starter as an underdog.

I think Philadelphia’s a bit undervalued given its ability to create runs.

And as an underdog coming off a game in which they scored at least nine runs, the Phillies are 57-43 for 36.15 units.

After shopping around, I found that WynnBET offers the Phillies with odds as high as +205. As a result, I can only look to play the road dogs in this spot. I think Philadelphia is worth a look for a half-unit.

Pick: Phillies ML +205

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