Did anyone really think that the Phillies would break their winning streak with Bryce Harper returning to the lineup?
The Phillies have been red hot. Despite a lull and series loss against the Mets, Philadelphia has won 16 games in August (16-8). 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’re 16 games over .500 for the first time since 2011.
Most recently, they got to the Pirates early and defeated them 7-4 last night, giving them their fifth straight win.
With Kyle Gibson on the mound, they’ll try to replicate that, and win their sixth straight beginning at 6:05pm tonight.
Phillies Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30 ERA, 105 SO) vs. Pirates Tyler Beede (1-3, 4.13 ERA, 32 SO)
Gibby has had a solid month of August so far. He had his worst outing of the month last week against the Mets, and that was him allowing four runs (only two earned) in 4.1 innings. Other than that, Gibby has earned a solid 2.96 ERA so in his previous four starts.
Gibson has not started against Pittsburgh yet this season, and only has two starts against them in his career. Both were in 2021, where he went 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA. He allowed six runs in 12.1 innings of work between those two games, but kept his WHIP under one (.947).
On the flip side, Tyler Beede will start for Pittsburgh today. On the year, he’s made 27 appearances (4 starts) and has been pretty average. The four-year vet is coming off a pretty good start against the Reds, where he lasted seven innings, only allowing three runs.
In 2022, Beede pitched very well against Philadelphia. He held them scoreless in three innings of work at the end of July. The three innings in that game were the longest outing as a reliever on the season for him and actually turned him into a starter. His four outings after then have all been starts.
Since becoming what seems to be an “opener” in the month of August, Beede’s ERA has skyrocketed. In August, his ERA is 7.50 in 12 total innings pitched.
Now, let’s mix that with his career numbers at Citizens Bank Park. He started a game in Philly back in 2019, and it went terribly. He allowed four runs in five innings, which isn’t the worst, but hitters are batting .400 against him in Philadelphia (10 hits in that game). His WHIP is 2.400 in South Philly as well. With this new and improved Phillies lineup, they could tear him apart if that trend continues.
Overall, the right hander has also equally struggled against hitters on both sides of the plate this year. Against righties, he’s allowing a .257 BAA. Against lefties, that slightly raises to .260. More notably, though, four of the five home runs that he’s allowed have come against lefties. And guess who just recently returned to the Phillies, who happens to be a lefty?
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, and continued that streak last night.
Let me repeat- if they’re going to make the playoffs, they win games like this one.
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-9 team batting average. The team needs to live up to these numbers and get to Beede 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
Bryce Harper was activated last night, and had a two-RBI single to kick off his return in the first inning. However, he’s still awaiting his real “welcome back” moment, meaning a home run. Beede has allowed four of his five homers against to lefties, so this may be a great spot for Bryce to rock one to right field. 12 of his 15 homers on the year have come against right-handed pitchers.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Phillies lineup has a small sample size against Beede. The most notable would be Rhys Hoskins, who is 3-7 against the lefty and was the one who hit the homer against him back in that aforementioned 2019 game.
I’ll also be taking a crack at Harper to hit a home run at +260, simply for the vibes. If he hits one, you’ll win $26 on top of your original bet.
Along with that, Hoskins to record a hit is -210. JT Realmuto was riding a six-game hitting streak into last night’s game. Even though he reached base, scored, and drove in a run, he reached on a debatable error, ending that hit streak. I expect that he’ll get back in the hit column tonight. He’s batting .307 in August.
Let’s not forget to mention Nick Castellanos, either. He’s batting .315 in August, and went 2-4 yesterday. Expect him to continue his hot month.
It’s not very usual that I bet a large parlay like this, but Hoskins, Harper, JT, and Casty all to record a hit is at +253. A $10 bet would win you $25.30, and you would collect $35.30. That’ll be my small wager for the night, along with Harper to hit a home run.
On a more serious note, I’ll be putting my larger bet on Hoskins and Realmuto to both record a hit. This sits at -107, so a $10 bet would win you $9.43 (collect $19.43).
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum