Red Sox vs Phillies Odds, Picks | MLB Betting Guide
Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zack Wheeler (Phillies)
- The Red Sox put their six-game winning streak on the line on Friday against the Phillies.
- Chris Sale is taking the hill for Boston to face off against Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler.
- Does this mean the total is in play? Kenny Ducey breaks it all down below.
Red Sox vs. Phillies Odds
|Red Sox Odds|
-114 / -106
-114 / -106
The Boston Red Sox have now won a commanding six straight games, but they’ll have to dig deep for another victory on Friday night against Zach Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Can this red-hot offense overwhelm Wheeler, or will the Sox once again find themselves in a hole with Chris Sale on the hill?
Let’s break it all down in our Red Sox vs. Phillies preview.
It sure does seem like this Red Sox offense is here to stay. Boston got off to a blistering start to the season at the plate and currently leads MLB in wRC+ over the past 14 days.
That puts this offense third in that category for the entire regular season, and it’s done the same things well for over a month now.
The Red Sox have been one of the best teams in baseball at putting the ball in play, making contact on 80.8% of their swings to rank third in the league. They also are striking out in just 17.7% of plate appearances, good for second-best.
Even if their expected batting average is 18 points higher than their real-life batting average, and even with an 11-point difference in their wOBA and xwOBA, the Red Sox still rank inside the top seven in each category.
They’re second in hard-hit balls per swing, reflecting both their ability to be patient at the plate and also their ability to hit the ball hard.
Like most teams that make a lot of contact, though, it’s worth pointing out that Boston’s 43.6 ground ball rate is 12th-highest; it doesn’t register many barrels and has done a lot of damage by simply hitting the baseball.
Speaking of doing damage, that’s what Sale is currently doing to his career ratios. He enters this start with a 6.75 ERA, and although his strikeout rate is back up to 26.1%, he’s allowed five home runs in six starts and has walked an unusually-high 7.5% of the batters he’s faced.
With a .422 xwOBA on contact, he’s certainly earned these gaudy numbers.
The Phillies will counter in this one with Wheeler, who has settled in quite nicely after a tough first start of the season.
His ERA has come back down to 3.86, and he’s now struck out 32.9% of the batters he’s faced, which is right around where he was back in his stellar 2021 season and higher than where he was last year.
He’s also allowed just two barrels through 32 2/3 innings and is sporting a solid .228 expected batting average against.
Wheeler is once again featuring his four-seam fastball quite heavily, and unlike last year where he overperformed his expected statistics with the pitch, the .200 xBA against his fastball this year would seem to indicate his .238 opponent batting average will come down a bit.
On top of that, he’s generating a whiff rate on the pitch that’s nearly seven points higher than last year, and that’s helped him go from the 46th percentile in whiff rate on his arsenal to the 84th this season.
As for the rest of the team, well, things could be going better. Philly has dropped four straight, but with Bryce Harper back in the lineup and with the team putting up six runs on Wednesday, perhaps things will get better.
The team’s biggest issue this week was pitching, and a strong Dodgers lineup on the other side of their mid-week series did it no favors.
Perhaps Wheeler can help things turn around.
Red Sox vs. Phillies Betting Pick
It’s worth noting that the Phillies rank just 22nd in wRC+ to left-handed pitching this season and have struck out in 24.1% of their plate appearances versus southpaws.
This certainly scares me a bit with Sale on the hill, considering how well he’s missed bats for the Red Sox.
On the flip side, Wheeler’s whiff rate is back to elite levels and that may complicate things for a Red Sox team that has relied on a boatload of contact to move runners around the basepaths.
I really believe in the Phillies’ ace here at home, and Boston’s OPS does drop from .852 at home to .738 on the road.
What does this all mean? Well, I think both starters should have success here.
Sale has been a tough guy to read with some great outings and some catastrophic ones, but he matches up quite well with this Phillies team.
I also think we should see the Red Sox struggle slightly more here given Wheeler’s success and their dip in production on the road.
All that adds up to a first five under.
Pick: First Five Innings Under 4.5 (-120)
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.