MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Phillies vs Reds Betting Preview for Thursday, April 13
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Trea Turner.
- The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds open a four-game series on Thursday night at Great American Ball Park.
- The Phillies face a tough matchup in Reds strikeout artist Nick Lodolo, but MLB expert Kenny Ducey isn’t fazed.
- Continue reading for Ducey’s Phillies vs. Reds game preview and his moneyline pick.
Phillies vs. Reds Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The Phillies were in need of some positive vibes after a brutal start to the season and were afforded them by the Cincinnati Reds, who they took down twice in three opportunities last week. That was in Philly, though, and now the club will travel to Cincinnati to try and turn the ship around once more after dropping two of three to the Marlins.
Can the pitching matchup — Bailey Falter vs. Nick Lodolo — present some hope for the home side here, or will Philly earn a rare road win? Let’s break this one own in our Phillies vs. Reds preview and betting pick.
The Phillies have won just four games to this point, but that doesn’t mean they’re dead in the water. In fact, I’d argue their 105 wRC+, which ranks 12th in baseball, is pretty impressive considering they’re striking out in a whopping 26.3% of plate appearances and walking in just 6.4%.
In the end, this is a team which is still top-10 in Isolated Power and just above the league median in barrels per plate appearance. The loss of Rhys Hoskins was a bad one, but the offense has still remained more or less the same.
Unfortunately, pitching has remained more or less the same for the Phillies as well. Their 6.65 bullpen ERA ranks third-worst in the league and a 5.29 xFIP offers little room for hope. Even their starters have combined for a 4.25 ERA, which is middle of the pack.
Bailey Falter, who will start on Thursday, may actually be one of the pitchers who provides this team the most hope. The lefty has begun the season with a 2.61 ERA in two starts, and while his 4.38 xERA suggests a bit of good fortune, I’d argue he’s put together enough good results in the big leagues to earn a bit of trust here. He’s yet to walk anyone in his 10 1/3 innings and has induced ground balls at a high 48.6% clip. So, while he’s not really striking many out he’s been able to keep the ball on the ground.
The Reds will send a lefty of their own to the hill in the form of Nick Lodolo. The 25-year-old, who had sky-high expectations entering the season, is off to a scorching hot start with 21 strikeouts in 12 innings of two-run ball. Lodolo got his first taste of the big leagues last year when he posted a 3.66 ERA in 19 starts, striking out hitters 29.7% of the time, and he’s only grown since then.
Lodolo’s barrel rate for his career still sits at 9% after a couple in his first 26 batted balls allowed of the season, but if he is going to be striking out hitters at this pace and keeping his walks at or below league average, then it’s not really going to matter.
Now, we should also point out here that Lodolo did face the Phillies last week, and he absolutely shoved. In fact, the two runs against him this year were scored by the Pirates of all teams on Opening Day. The Phillies managed just five runners and 12 strikeouts over seven frames.
The tough part for the Reds is that while their pitching has actually held up pretty well, their offense is still in the bottom third of the league in wRC+ and ranks 24th in wRC+ to lefties. There’s little room for hope here, and even in a small ballpark the Reds still aren’t recording very many barrels or hard-hit balls.
Phillies vs. Reds Betting Pick
The Phillies have certainly hit the ball well enough to start the season, even if they haven’t won very many games. Last year, they were beasts against left-handed pitching, and even without Hoskins and Bryce Harper still have some pretty solid bats to combat southpaws. Their 95 wRC+ (19th) should surely climb up in the coming weeks and months.
Lodolo has looked unstoppable this year, but I’d also like to point out the size of the sample. He was an above-average starter a year ago who is clearly on an upward trajectory, but we can’t expect him to keep this up. Conversely, the Reds offense can keep struggling at the plate, and Falter should be very tough on them from the left side.
I’d normally lean toward taking the Under in a spot like this, but I think the total says it all. The market is skeptical of both pitchers, and in a situation like this, the better offense (especially in a hitters’ park) is normally the one to target.
Philly should be able to get the ball in the air off of Lodolo and strike with some longballs, and I think Falter will hold down his end of the bargain.
Pick: Phillies +115
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