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Phillies vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Philadelphia to Jump On New York Early (Tuesday, July 20)

Phillies vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Philadelphia to Jump On New York Early (Tuesday, July 20) article feature image

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola.

Phillies vs. Yankees Odds

Phillies Odds -130
Yankees Odds +110
Over/Under 9 (-115 / -105)
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon via DraftKings.

Philadelphia and New York both had underwhelming first halves of the Major League Baseball season. However, both entered the All-Star break on positive notes with series wins against elite teams in Boston and Houston, respectively.

Their good form continued following the brief hiatus when the Phillies took three of four from Miami and the Yankees beat the Red Sox two out of three games. New York is dealing with injuries and COVID-19 issues, while this two-game set is a bit of a sandwich series for both in between more critical divisional matchups this weekend.

Every game counts for both clubs chasing a division title from behind, and neither starter in this game has taken the mound in two weeks entering Tuesday’s contest.

Phillies’ Nola Makes Return to Mound

Aaron Nola will make his first start following his unexpected layoff after he was contact traced out of his previous scheduled start prior to the All-Star break.

Nola has been a major disappointment for Philadelphia this year, with his surface-level numbers far below his usual standard. On one hand, his fly ball rate is up and xSLG numbers are also worse than previous years.

However, Nola has also been a bit unlucky. He has the second-lowest strand rate, the lowest walk rate and second-highest strikeout rate of his career.

His BABIP allowed is also second highest, while his average exit velocity has barely changed from years past. Nola is giving up mostly the same type of contact as usual, striking out more and walking less, but his numbers are worse. He’s been better than his 4.53 ERA suggests, as his xERA is sub 4 this season.

The Phillies have played their best baseball the last three weeks, going 10-4 with four consecutive series wins that have them back in the NL East conversation. The improvements have come on offense, where they have a 119 OPS+ in July and five regular starters with an OPS above .850 in that stretch.

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Yankees Still Baffled by Right-Handed Pitchers

New York’s lineup hasn’t fared well against right-handed pitching all year. The Yankees rank 23rd in hard-hit rate, 15th in wRC+ and 22nd in slugging against righties. They rely quite a bit on walks to produce runners via their league-high walk rate, but Nola isn’t going to give out many free passes.

New York is also bottom 10 in strikeout rate and given Nola’s improvements there recently, the club could struggle to frequently put the ball in play.

The Yankees have been decimated by injuries and COVID-19 issues across the board. New York won’t have Gio Urshela or Aaron Judge for this contest. The Yankees started a lineup at home against Boston last Sunday that had 12 career combined home runs from its outfield, and that was before another injury to Trey Amburgey.

Luke Voit remains out as well, thus the Yankees’ lineup isn’t nearly as good as the one Nola shut down at home in June.

Domingo Germán’s batted-ball data isn’t awful, but he really struggled to end June before being pulled from the starting rotation. His walk rate increased in June and he couldn’t keep the ball in the park, both of which will be major concerns on a hot and humid night in Yankee Stadium. Germán hasn’t completed five innings since June 6.

Phillies-Yankees Pick

Even with all of Aroldis Chapman’s struggles at the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen, the club projects out as a much better group than Philadelphia once the starters depart from the game.

The Phillies have blown more saves than any team in baseball, with current closer Ranger Suárez due for some negative regression as well. There should be a bigger spread between the first-five innings price and the full game, and the Philadelphia bullpen’s high walk rate is too concerning to trust betting in the late innings.

Nola is going to turn his season around. And after two weeks off, this is a great spot to back him to shut down a weaker New York lineup.

Pick: Phillies — First Five Innings (-125 or better)

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