Phillies vs. Red Sox Betting Odds & Pick: Value on Philadelphia? (Friday, July 9)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper (left) and Brad Miller.
- The Phillies and Red Sox open an intriguing interleague series at Fenway Park on Friday night.
- In a matchup of average starting pitchers, Vince Velasquez will toe the rubber opposite Garrett Richards.
- Kevin Davis breaks down where he sees betting value in this matchup below.
Phillies vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-125|
|Over/Under||11 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday afternoon and via William Hill.|
This weekend in an interleague matchup with playoff ramifications, the Boston Red Sox are hosting the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park.
Boston enters in first place in the American League East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox’s 54-34 record is tied for the best in the AL with the Astros and one game behind the Giants for the best in the majors.
Philadelphia may just be 42-43, but it sits in second place in the National League East. The Phillies are only four games behind the first-place Mets, so they still have a plausible path to making the playoffs.
The Red Sox are the better team, and they are slim favorites for Friday night’s game. Let’s break down whether Philly is better than its record says, though.
The starting pitcher for the Phillies for Friday’s game is Vince Velasquez, who started the season in the bullpen before becoming a starter again in late April. Velasquez has a 3-3 record with a 4.50 ERA and 4.69 xFIP.
As a starting pitcher this season, Velasquez has a more respectable 4.31 ERA but is averaging fewer than five innings per start.
With Velasquez pitching for a low number of innings, that means that the Phillies’ bullpen must pitch for more innings than usual. While Philadelphia’s relievers have had a few epic meltdowns this season, its relief corps is better than most teams. The median MLB bullpen has a 4.24 xFIP, and the Phillies are at 4.08.
While there is debate about if clutch pitching is a real thing, it’s completely random in my opinion.
Backing up Velasquez is a Phillies lineup that should receive a boost this weekend from having a designated hitter. Currently, the Phillies average 4.48 runs per game, which is slightly higher than the league average.
In the DH spot in the lineup, the Phillies are likely to rely on Brad Miller, who has had a strong season this year. In 170 at-bats, Miller has nine home runs, three of which were hit on Thursday night, a .260 batting average, and a 123 wRC+.
With Miller in the lineup, my model projects the Philly to score 4.6 runs in a typical game.
Boston Red Sox
Opposing Velasquez and the Phillies is Red Sox starting pitcher Garret Richards.
In my opinion, Richards has been more mediocre than Velasquez this season. In 17 starts, Richards has a 4-5 record with a 4.88 ERA and 4.95 xFIP. Additionally, he is averaging only 7.17 strikeouts per nine innings and an astronomically high walk rate of 4.36 walks per nine innings, which is the worst among Red Sox starting pitchers.
Backing Richards up is a strong Red Sox lineup that is led by J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo and averaging 5.08 runs per game, the third most in MLB. However, the Red Sox hitters have overperformed this season, as my model projects them to score 4.62 runs in a typical game.
Phillies-Red Sox Pick
The Red Sox are a better team than the Phillies, but Friday’s game is a toss-up.
I like the Phillies as a small underdog based on their lineup getting a boost from having a designated hitter, their bullpen not being as bad as the public perceives it to be and having an edge in starting-pitching matchup.
I like Philly at +115 and would bet them up to +105.
Pick: Phillies +115 (bet up to +105)