Phillies vs Pirates: Betting preview & predictions for 8/26/2022

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Phillies Harper Rehab Baseball
Bryce Harper watches his solo homer against the Gwinnett Stripers in the first inning of a Triple-A baseball game while he begins his rebab assignment at Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Allentown, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Another series, another Phillies series win. Let’s not forget to mention that the most recent against the Reds was a sweep, too.

The Phillies have been red hot. Despite a lull and series loss against the Mets, Philadelphia has won 15 games in August (15-8). Three of those losses were from the Mets alone. For the first time in a long time, the Phillies are beating the teams they’re supposed to beat.

They bounced back from that Mets series with a four-game sweep of the lowly Cincinnati Reds. Aaron Nola brought the brooms out himself, tossing a complete game shutout, only allowing five hits.

Zack Wheeler was scheduled to originally pitch today but was diagnosed with right forearm tendinitis yesterday. This being said, he found himself on the 15-day IL. So now, Bailey Falter was called up to start in place of Wheeler.

Falter will kick off a three-game weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7pm tonight.

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Probable Pitchers:

Phillies Bailey Falter (1-3, 4.40 ERA, 40 SO) vs. Pirates Bryse Wilson (2-7, 5.74 ERA, 52 SO)

Phillies

Bailey Falter gets the nod for Philadelphia today and is looking for his third straight quality outing. Newly acquired teammate Noah Syndergaard is on a six-day rotation due to his Tommy John surgery in 2020. This being said, Falter has been one of the guys who have really stepped up and pieced together some quality starts to allow Thor that extra day of rest.

His most recent start was the only win the Phillies took against the Mets last week. Falter tossed six innings of one-run ball, holding the Mets to only two hits. Before that, the southpaw struck out eight Pirates en route to a six-inning, two-run outing against Pittsburgh.

Pirates

On the flip side, Bryse Wilson will start for Pittsburgh today. On the year, he’s made 17 appearances (14 starts) and hasn’t had too much success. The five-year vet is coming off a pretty good start against the Reds, where he lasted seven innings, only allowing three runs.

Wilson has made two starts against Philadelphia in his career. Both of which are from 2019. His numbers aren’t completely the best, but he’s 1-0 with a 5.79 ERA against the red pinstripes.

More importantly, though, he struggled badly in his only start at Citizens Bank Park. The hitters ballpark lived up to that nickname that day, as the Phillies rocked him for four runs in three innings back in 2019.

Overall, the southpaw has also struggled against lefties badly this year. Against lefties, opposing hitters are hitting .314 compared to his .289 average against righties. And guess who’s coming back tonight from the injured list? (*eyes emoji*)

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Betting Preview and Picks

As mentioned, the Phillies are one of the easier schedules down the stretch. While they continue their playoff push, they have to beat teams like the Pirates. The Phillies swept their four-game series against Pitt to end their July.

Let me repeat- if they’re going to make the playoffs, they win games like this game.

They have one of the hottest lineups in baseball, have scored the seventh-most runs in the entire league (fifth in NL), and have a top-8 team batting average. The team needs to live up to these numbers and get to Wilson quickly and force the Pirates to use their bullpen even earlier and more often in this series than they are planning for.

Phillies Lineup vs. Wilson

Before we get into any specifics about players versus Wilson, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Wilson is allowing left-handed batters to hit .314 off him in his career. If you look at just 2022, that number raises to .328.

There’s one lefty, in particular, that is returning to the Phillies lineup tonight. The same guy who is hitting right-handed pitchers .329 this season. The same guy who made the All-Star game as a DH. The same guy who was tearing up Triple-A for two games so much, that they called him up earlier than they initially planned.

Bryce Harper will be activated tonight. The reigning NL MVP will play in his first game since June 25th. When he left, he was batting 318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs. Talk about a heck of a September call-up for a team who’s 31-20 since their best hitter left.

If this doesn’t call for money to be thrown on Harper to record a hit, and hit a home run, then I don’t know what does. Harper hit a homer in the first at-bat of his rehab assignment, most likely due to the adrenaline of playing baseball again. If he got amped then, he for sure will be even more hyped up to get back to MLB action tonight.

Harper to record a hit-260
Harper to have 2+ bases-125
Harper to hit a home run+255

It may not be the smartest move to bet all three of those props, but how electric would it be watching all three of those hit? It’s not typical that I bet with my heart, but given the numbers, Harper’s adrenaline, and the positive vibes, it may not be as emotionally driven as we think.

Looking at the rest of the team, they all have small sample sizes against Wilson. The most notable would be Rhys Hoskins, who is 2-5 against the lefty.

Jt Realmuto and Nick Castellanos are both red-hot as well. Casty was on a 14-game hit streak before going 0-4 yesterday, and I fully expect that to restart with a pitcher that struggles against lefties on the mound. During that stretch, he was batting .344. Meanwhile, Realmuto is batting .480 on his current six-game hitting streak of his own. In August in general, he’s batting .310.

It’s not often that you’ll see me suggest a four-leg parlay, especially one with such little value, but all of the numbers support it. I’ll be taking a parlay of Harper, Castellanos, Realmulto, and the Phillies to win. A $10 bet on that will win you $18.70, so you will collect $28.70.

I’ll also be taking a crack at Harper to hit a home run at +255, simply for the vibes. If he hits one, you’ll win $25.50 on top of your original bet.

All in all, if you do decide that you can join the action, make sure to do so with one of the promo offer links below. Your bets can be risk-free!

Photo Credit: Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

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