Phillies vs. Pirates Odds & Picks: Worth Backing Philadelphia as Big Favorites?

Phillies vs. Pirates Odds & Picks: Worth Backing Philadelphia as Big Favorites? article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: J.T. Realmuto

  • The Phillies are heavy road favorites tonight against the Pirates.
  • Zack Wheeler takes the mound for Philadelphia and will be opposed by Pittsburgh's Zach Thompson.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Phillies vs. Pirates Odds

Phillies Odds-205
Pirates Odds+170
Over/Under7.5 (-120 / +100)
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

While the Phillies season hasn't gone the way they'd hoped with the firing of manager Joe Girardi and a 10 game deficit in the National League East division, Philadelphia is just a half game out of the last wild-card spot in the National League entering play Thursday.

The Pirates aren't quite cellar dwellers, sitting in fourth place in the National League Central, but they don't have much of a chance of making the playoffs as they sit 11.5 games out of the last Wild Card spot in the National League entering play Thursday.

This game certainly carries more importance for the favored Phillies, but will they ultimately be able to get the job done tonight?

Phillies' Offense Has Promise

Philadelphia's offense is still without defending National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper, who remains on the injured list.

Newly signed outfielder Nick Castellanos is in the midst of his worst hitting season of his career as his 83 wRC+ is the worst of his 10 seasons in the major leagues. Still, the Phillies have a potent lineup. Philadelphia is sixth in all of baseball averaging 4.70 runs per game on the road this season.

Pirates starter Zach Thompson has a 4.64 ERA this season, but his xFIP is higher at 5.03. Thompson was hit hard by the Marlins of all teams in his last start as he allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and two walks.

The Phillies' lineup has a decent amount of power in it as Rhys Hoskins, Kyle Schwarber and Darick Hall each have ISOs above .200 against right-handed pitching this season. I expect them to have the upper hand on Thompson in this matchup.

Pirates Should Struggle Against Wheeler

The Pirates are 25th in all of baseball averaging 3.87 runs per game at home this season. I don't exactly have high hopes for this offense against Phillies starter Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler has a 2.78 ERA, 3.63 xFIP, 26% K%, 5% BB%, and 44% ground ball percentage this year. He's won only eight of his 18 starts thanks to the Phillies bullpen, but Wheeler is one of the 10 or so best pitchers in baseball at the moment.

Bryan Reynolds and Oneil Cruz are the only hitters in the Pirates' projected lineup with ISOs above .200 against right-handed pitching this season. Wheeler has allowed just a .124 ISO to left-handed batters this season, however.

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Phillies-Pirates Pick

I'm on the Phillies here. I know the line is juiced up to nearly -200, but that's what I'd bet it up to.

Philadelphia is on the road, but is 25-22 on the road this year while Pittsburgh is 21-25. The Phillies have the starting pitching advantage and the better offense.

I'm betting the Phillies moneyline until it gets past -200.

Pick: Phillies ML -195

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