Ah, the second half of the Phillies season now begins. All of the high hopes and expectations for a playoff push start tonight.
A solid pitching matchup
Kyle Gibson will spearhead the momentum out of the break. On the year, Gibby has had his ups and down. However, overall, he has done enough within his 5-3 record and 4.35 ERA.
He led off the Marlins series, and had a near flawless outing. He held the fish to one run in six innings of work. Let’s not also forget his five strikeouts.
In his career, Gibby has struggled a bit when coming off such large amounts of rest. When having six or more days off, he has a 5.13 ERA in 39 appearances, which is the highest among his career splits. Meanwhile, he does worse in the second half of the season compared to the first, as his ERA jumps from 3.95 to 5.00.
Along with this, given that he spent his entire career in the American League prior to the trade to the Phils, Gibson has only faced the Cubs twice. He’s only pitched ten total innings in those two games, en route to a 5.40 ERA, allowing six total runs.
The left-hander has never pitched against the Phillies in his very young career. However, he has struggled against teams over .500 thus far. Since his first season in 2021, he has a 4.36 ERA and 1.42 WHIP against winning teams. He’s looked solid in his last three appearances, though. In his last three starts, Steele is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, eight walks and 18 strikeouts.
As of 11am on Friday, lineups are not out yet. This will be updated as soon as they are released.
Update 2:50pm: Phillies lineup is now out.
Bohm will DH as Munoz plays third, with Hall on the bench. Hall has only faced a lefty one time this year, and struck out, which is likely why he will not start this one.
On a side note, two games in this series will not be aired on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Today’s game will be on Apple TV, while Sunday’s game will exclusively air on Apple TV.
To be honest, it’s silly to even think about fading the Phillies anytime soon. They have one of the hottest lineups in baseball, have scored the sixth most runs in the entire league (fifth in NL), and have a top-12 team batting average.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 1-9 in their last ten. They snapped their nine game losing streak in the latter portion of a double header against the Mets right before the break. Runs have been scarce for them as well. Aside from a 9 run outlier against the Brewers (a game which they still lost), they didn’t score more than three runs during that stretch. They rank bottom-10 in offense with 4.20 runs per game this season.
However, there isn’t much value on the Phillies moneyline, floating around -150 on most books. This being said, you’d have to bet $150 to win $100. It may be the safer bet in the eyes of Vegas, but not the most valuable or locked in, especially given Kyle Gibson’s bad past with the latter portion of the season.
Personally, I’ll likely be staying away from many bets in this game. However, Phillies ML parlayed with a player to get a hit may be the play. Alec Bohm hits lefties incredibly well (.322 batting average this season), so him to get a hit could be a great partner for a Phillies win.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky