If you exclude the past two weekends, the Phillies have been red hot. However, the New York Mets have been their Achilles Heel. In August thus far, Philadelphia has earned an 11-7 record, with five of those seven losses being to their division rivals. The most recent of those losses was a tough 10-9 loss yesterday, where they blew the lead three separate times (4-0, 7-4, and 8-7).
Now, though, their focus must shift forward. Today kicks off a three-series stretch against much inferior opponents. Up first come the Cincinnati Reds, who travel into Philadelphia for a three-game stretch.
Noah Syndergaard gets the mound for game one of the series at 7:05 tonight.
Phillies Noah Syndergaard (7-8, 3.95 ERA, 76 SO) vs. Reds Luis Cessa (3-1, 5.50 ERA, 28 SO)
Noah Syndergaard takes the mound for Philadelphia today and is looking for another quality outing since joining the team. After being picked up at the trade deadline, Thor has played in three games with the Phils, where he has a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings pitched. The brunt of that is from his first outing against Washington, where he let up four runs on 11 hits in five innings.
However, he did bounce back in his last two outings. In game two of his Phillies career, he pitched well, only allowing two runs on six innings against the Marlins. He followed that up with a great outing against Cincy a week ago, where he went seven innings of three-run ball.
Last week’s game was Thor’s first matchup against the Reds this season. He maintained his successful track record against the club. In his career, Syndergaard hasn’t earned a losing decision against Cincy. He’s 6-0 in six starts with an incredible 2.36 ERA and 0.946 WHIP. He’s now a shadow of his former self, but the successful track record is there.
On the flip side, Luis Cessa will get the start for Cincinnati today. Cessa is a reliever through and through. His only other “start” this season was where he was an opener back on April 14th, and he allowed three runs and five hits in an inning of work. The right-hander has turned it around since then, though.
Once the calendar turned to July, Cessa allowed three runs on July 1. Since then, he’s only let up one earned run on July 4, and none since then. As mentioned, he is a reliever, so that sample size is an exact nine innings of work. But, no earned runs since July 4th is nothing to sleep on.
The Phillies have hit Cessa well in his career appearances against them, though. In 9.1 innings of work against Philadelphia total, the red pinstripes have hit Cessa for six runs on 12 hits. Most recently, the pitcher won the battle, however, as Cessa shut the Phils out in two innings of work last week.
Betting Preview and Picks
Like yesterday, the Phillies need to use this game to break out of their slump. And when I say slump- it’s more of a mental hurdle. They scored nine runs against the Mets and still lost on Sunday, an unacceptable feat for a team in the midst of a playoff push.
The Reds are a very beatable opponent. I mean, the Phillies just took two of three against them last week, and honestly should have swept them.
Even after the tough stretch, their offense still stands out. They have one of the hottest lineups in baseball, have scored the eighth-most runs in the entire league (fifth in NL), and have a top-11 team batting average. The team needs to live up to these numbers and get to Cessa quickly and force the Reds to use their bullpen even earlier and more often in this series than they are planning for.
Phillies Lineup vs. Cessa
The Phillies lineup all have a very small sample size against Cessa. The most notable would be Alec Bohm, who is 2-2 against him with a double. Bohm to hit a single is pretty much automatic this season, so that could be parlayed with a Phillies win if you’re looking to double your money.
The official lines aren’t out yet, but Bohm typically sits around -250 to record a hit, and the Phillies are currently -240 on the moneyline to win. Combining those will come out to an estimated -110 line, so a $10 bet would win you about $9, so you collect $19.
Again, these numbers are not officially out at the time of this article and are estimated.
It could still be an easy way to nearly double your money and continue our hot streak deeper into the week. Let’s kick the Monday blues together with both a Phillies and financial win.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Dean