Phillies vs Pirates: Betting preview & predictions for 8/28/2022

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Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Castellanos (8) celebrates his solo home run with Jean Segura during the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Did anyone really think that the Phillies would break their winning streak with Bryce Harper returning to the lineup? Especially against a much inferior team in the Pirates?

The Phillies have been red hot. Despite a lull and series loss against the Mets, Philadelphia has won 17 games in August (17-8). 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 17 games over .500 for the first time since 2011.

Most recently, they got to the Pirates early and defeated them 6-0 last night, giving them their sixth straight win.

With Noah Syndergaard on the mound, they’ll try to replicate that and win their seventh straight beginning at 1:35pm tonight.

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Probable Pitchers:

Phillies Noah Syndergaard (8-8, 3.77 ERA, 77 SO) vs. Pirates Roansy Contreras (3-4, 3.86 ERA, 58 SO)

Phillies

The Phillies have not lost a game since Noah Syndergaard joined the team at the trade deadline. Thor himself is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts since putting on red pinstripes.

All of his starts against Pittsburgh have come when Thor was on the New York Mets. He’s started four games against the Pirates, and has great numbers. He’s 2-1 with a stellar 1.65 ERA in those starts. Most recently,

Pirates

On the flip side, Roansy Contreras will start for Pittsburgh today. The rookie has made 11 starts this season, appearing in 14 total games. He’s never had a start against the Phillies, but he is coming off a stellar start against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, he allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings of work. Not too shabby against a pretty loaded Atlanta Braves lineup.

Contreras started the season as a reliever, but became a starter at the beginning of May. As a starter, he’s got a 3.90 ERA. When Contreras is on -he’s on. But when he’s not, it’s obvious. In starts that he’s won, he has a 3-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. Opponents are only batting .180 in his wins. However, in his losses, that number skyrockets to .295 and a 7.45 ERA.

If he’s off his game, opposing teams tend to take advantage early, as also averages under five innings pitched in his losses compared to seven innings pitched in his wins.

Overall, the right-hander has also struggled against right-handed bats in his young career. Righties are batting .252 compared to .220 for lefties. Righties hit Contreras hard too, as opposing slugging percentages average to .473 against the rookie.

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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, 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 Contreras 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. Contreras

When looking at the Phillies lineup, it looks like they’re giving right-hander Rhys Hoskins the day off. It’s interesting that they are doing so, especially since Contreras struggles against righties. However, they moved Bohm to first base for the day, and inserted right-handed hitter Edmundo Sosa into the lineup.

Slotting Sosa in makes sense, as his career splits favor toward facing right-handed pitchers heavily. He bats .271 against righties in his career compared to .193 against lefties.

Sosa is -175 to record a hit today, and isn’t terrible value for someone who could sneakily get on base at the caboose of the Phil’s lineup.

In the month of August, Alec Bohm has recorded a hit in 20 of his 24 games played. He’s riding an eight game hit streak into this afternoon’s game as well. Bohm is always good for a single, and his line is much more valuable to record specifically a single (-160) compared to a hit (-260). He does hit lefties significantly better than lefties (.352 vs. .271), but I imagine that he’s still good to get on base at least once today- and he doesn’t walk much.

Kyle Schwarber is also due for a Schwarbomb. The home run leader in the NL has only two in August, but 27 of his 35 have come against righties. If you’re looking to bet someone to hit a homer today, Schwarbs is your guy.

Noah Syndergaard’s over/under for strikeouts is also sitting at 4.5 for the afternoon. He only struck out one batter in seven innings in his last start. However Pittsburgh strikes out an average of 9.27 times a game, second most in the league. Personally, I don’t love this bet, but the opportunity to basically double your money by taking his over is there.

Personally, I will likely wait to live bet this game. There’s no value to bet the Phillies alone, but you may be able to get the Pirates at good value if Contreras is dealing early. As mentioned, you can usually tell what type of game the rookie is going to have based on his first couple of innings. Since there is no value on the Phillies to begin with, you could use the live betting strategy to your advantage in this game.

Even if you don’t want to bet the Pirates to win using this method, you could live bet Contreras’ strikeouts mid-game. He strikes out more than five batters a game in his wins, which is when he’s typically cruising. The Phillies average six K’s a game against righties, compared to less than three against lefties.

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: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

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