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Rangers vs Phillies Betting Preview | MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions

Rangers vs Phillies Betting Preview | MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions article feature image

Via Bailey Orr/Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Perez #54 of the Texas Rangers looks on during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Field on August 3, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.

  • The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers meet tonight in Arlington on Sunday Night Baseball.
  • Philadelphia has struggled mightily to begin the season, and have Bailey Falter on the mound against Texas' Martin Perez.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Phillies vs. Rangers Odds

Sunday, April 2
7:08 p.m. ET
Phillies Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-112 / -108
Rangers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-112 / -108
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year always hits a bit differently. It’s exciting to have primetime baseball back, especially when you need to cure some horrific Sunday Scaries.

Anyway, the game should be fun.

The Phillies are trying to make it back to the World Series, having added a few new faces to the group.

The Rangers are just trying to win more games, especially with ownership’s new resolve to win some baseball games. They’re looking for a season-opening sweep on Sunday Night, so things are looking up.

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Philadelphia Phillies

So, the Phillies have started their season 0-2.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t panic:

First, there is no way the Phillies’ pitching can be as bad as it was this weekend. Allowing 27 runs over two games is an unnatural act of baseball and unsustainable over 162 games.

Second, Trea Turner is the first player in six years to record a triple in the first two games of a season. He’s going to be very good.

Trea Turner is the first player since Yasiel Puig in 2016 to record a triple in each of the first two games of the season.#MLB |

— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) April 1, 2023

Third, Bryce Harper is still hurt. He will be back eventually.

It’s too early in the season to make sweeping judgments about the Phillies. It’s been a rough start to the season for them, but there’s no reason to think this will continue.

Starting Pitcher: Bailey Falter

So, the Phillies are starting Bailey Falter in game three.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t panic:

From an extension standpoint, Falter is one of the league’s best, which gives some play to his fastball.

Falter also is a strike-only pitcher, literally never walking opposing hitters. He will throw a strike or not throw a pitch at all (especially in the pitch clock era).

In the middle of last season, Falter adjusted his pitch mix, going from a sinker-slider pitcher to a four-seam-curveball pitcher. The adjustment moderately improved his numbers, but he remained exploitable.

Falter’s stuff is his biggest problem. He ranks in the first percentile of pitchers in Fastball Spin Rate and the ninth percentile in Curveball Spin Rate, so he can’t get stuff past major league batters.

Falter projects out as a league-average pitcher over 107 innings, which would be a great result for the Phillies. Again, no reason to panic!

Texas Rangers

Say what you want about the Texas Rangers, but at least they’re being proactive.

Owner Ray Davis decided he was done with losing. He broke out the checkbook, and the Rangers have been trying to compete ever since.

At the minimum, the approach is admirable. However, has it been effective?

It’s tough to answer that question. The entire top half of the Rangers’ lineup last year — Marcus Semien, Cory Seager, Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis Garcia — all hit at least 25 home runs last season. The offseason additions were very effective.

But the bottom half of the lineup was dreadful. And the pitching staff was even worse.

However, how much of that was attributed to bad luck? The Rangers went 15-35 in one-run games last season, finishing nine wins short of their Pythagorean Win Total.

Either way, the Rangers decided enough was enough. They added Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney and Jake Odorizzi in the offseason, destined to find some answers to the never-ending puzzle.

deGrom looked shaky on opening night, and I have questions about the other additions. And, ultimately, the best pitcher in the clubhouse might’ve been there all along.

Starting Pitcher: Martin Perez

Martin Perez has not improved his stuff or his ability to generate weak contact.

However, Perez has improved is his location and ability to miss bats.

Perez relentlessly attacked the bottom of the zone last season, leading to a career-high Ground-Ball Rate (51.4%) and Barrel Rate (4.3%). By attacking the bottom of the zone, Perez stopped allowing home runs, which always helps a pitcher’s profile.

But the whole baseball world questions how sustainable Perez’s approach is. He finished with a 2.89 ERA last season, yet his xERA was 3.59, perhaps because he posted a high LOB rate (77%) and career-lows in Home Run Rates allowed (.5 HR/9, 6.5% HR/FB).

Perez may have stunted opposing Home Run Rates by attacking the bottom of the zone, or he might be the perfect pitcher to target for regression. Additionally, his bottom-of-the-zone approach may lead to more random ground-ball hits without the shift.

Either way, I wouldn’t expect Perez’s approach to change. He will throw a sinker-changeup-cutter mix to attack hitters on the corners.

Phillies vs. Rangers Betting Pick

It’s almost impossible to believe, but the Rangers have won 10 straight games against the Phillies since 2014.

I’m unsure if the Phillies will finally break the streak, but I think they’ll go down trying.

Philadelphia and Texas combined for 37 runs over the first two games of this series, and I don’t see why it can’t happen again. We have a lefty vs. lefty starting pitching matchup, and the Rangers and Phillies were both top-five teams last year in wRC+ against southpaws.

Both lineups have plenty of talent, and neither team has a strong bullpen. The over has already been steamed from 8.5 to 9.0 at many books, and I’m still willing to bet it in that area (especially if MLB continues to juice the primetime baseballs).

I’ll be on the over at anything better than 9.0 (-110).

Pick: Over 8.5 (-120) | Bet to 9.0 (-110)

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