Rockies vs Phillies Odds & Picks: The F5 Bet to Make (April 23)
Pictured: Zack Wheeler. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
- The Phillies host the Rockies in a Sunday matinee.
- With Zack Wheeler and Jose Urena taking the mound, Philadelphia has a massive pitching advantage and our expert is targeting that early.
- Jim Turvey is betting the first five innings multiple ways in Rockies vs Phillies on Sunday, April 23.
Rockies vs Phillies Odds
-120 / +100
-120 / +100
MLB bettors get early baseball on Sunday with the Colorado Rockies taking on the Philadelphia Phillies.
This is one of the more lopsided pitching matchups bettors will find as Colorado’s Jose Urena has proven to be one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball, while Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler has a long track record of being one of baseball’s best.
Let’s dig in and see whether the books have priced this gap as large as they should have.
Urena is sporting a 9.82 ERA over 14 2/3 innings, which amazingly isn’t really even due to bad luck. His FIP (10.36) is by far the worst among pitchers with 10 innings this season (small sample of course). In fact, the gap between his FIP and the second-worst FIP is bigger than the gap between second-worst and 12th-worst. His 2.32 WHIP is fifth-worst in baseball, as is his xwOBA allowed. Basically any leaderboard, standard or advanced, is going to have Urena near the bottom.
And this is no fluke. Since the start of 2019, here are Urena’s stats: 5.56 ERA, 5.15 FIP, 1.583 WHIP and a 5.7 K-BB%. Those ranks among the 130 pitchers with at least 300 innings since the start of 2019: 130th, 129th, 130th, 130th.
A small part of that can be attributed to having to pitch home games at Coors (and the after effects of traveling from Coors too), but Urena is still a terrible pitcher. His ERA at Coors is 6.68 over 63 1/3 innings, leaving him with a 4.74 non-Coors ERA for his career.
Even though the Phillies are off to a bit of a slow start — 9-12 and in fourth place in the National League East — their offense hasn’t been the issue. The Phils own a 109 wRC+ this season, which ranks eighth in baseball. Against righties, they’re a touch better with a 112 wRC+. Brandon Marsh has been mashing righties, but the lineup as a whole has had plenty of success against righties this season.
The question then becomes, why are the Phillies losing? The answer is a few factors, but the most notable is a bullpen with an ERA that ranks 27th in baseball.
To put the final piece in the puzzle, Wheeler has gotten off to a bit of a slow start with a 4.79 ERA, but that is a matter of small sample bad luck. His FIP (2.91) basically matches last season’s 2.89, and the story is the same with his xERA (3.17, up a hair from 3.10). His Statcast numbers (exit velocity and barrels allowed) are the same, if not better, as his past three seasons. Add in his velocity being the same, and while the Phillies defense hasn’t been great, the answer is far more likely that this is just a 20 inning chunk with a bit of bad luck.
Rockies vs Phillies Betting Pick
With all that in mind, it’s not surprising where I am looking to go with this play: Phillies in the first five innings. Now, the books are aware of this pitching gap, but they haven’t adjusted their numbers quite enough. There are a few different ways to play this, and I’m going to try a bit of them all. As of writing, Phillies first five -1.5 is -115, -0.5 is -175 and the moneyline is -280. All would be recommended plays, but very few books have their first five markets out, so make sure to shop around.
Pick: Phillies F5 ML
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