Marlins vs Phillies: Betting preview & best bets for Wildcard Game 1

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Phillies Bryce harper
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Washington Nationals catcher Riley Adams after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the second baseball game in a doubleheader, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Your Philadelphia Phillies have landed in the Wildcard round in consecutive years. A familiar opponent, the frisky Miami Marlins, now wait in the wings for a three-game clash in the City of Brotherly Love.

Just as the favored St. Louis Cardinals found out a season ago, nothing is guaranteed. The Miami Marlins hope to play spoiler to the NL Pennant defenders and a divisional rival. Miami did win the regular season split, seven games to six.

We believe some smart money will be made throughout this series, and I included a couple of pointers here for your consideration. So remember, fade the public, don’t chase, and always bet on homers.

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Marlins vs. Phillies game info

  • Location: Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, PA
  • Time: October 3rd, 8:08p EST
  • Channel: ESPN

Marlins vs. Phillies Betting Stats:

FANDUELMARLINS (+142), PHILLIES (-168)PHILLIES -1.5 (+130)7.5

Marlins vs. Phillies: Pitching Matchup

Jesús Luzardo (10-9, 3.63 ERA) v. Zack Wheeler (13-6, 3.61 ERA)

It’s unsurprising to see Wheeler get the call for the Wildcard series opener. While some level of loyalty may have netted Aaron Nola the start, his unceremonious 2023 campaign has made that near impossible.

Wheeler’s coming off a relatively respectable September, save a six-earned run implosion against the Atlanta Braves. Still, a 3.71 ERA and 9.8 SO/9 isn’t a terrible month.

Even for Wheeler, strikeouts will be hard against a team that consistently makes contact and vaunts the fifth-fewest K’s in the MLB this season. With Wheeler averaging 6.63 strikeouts per start and the Marlins averaging almost 8 K’s per game, I like the under on the righty’s total.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) aims a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

At the risk of beating a dead horse, Wheeler averaged just 0.94 strikeouts per inning against Miami this season. You’d have to believe Wheeler goes at least seven innings to hit his O/U strikeout total, so we stay away.

Quick Hits – Marlins vs. Phillies

The Phillies need some help from deep in their lineup

While we may not see him in the starting lineup, he’s a black horse with the most success against the Marlins’ Luzardo in his career. That’s right, it’s Edmundo Sosa.

Through seven plate appearances, Sosa’s tallied a double, two home runs, and a whopping 2.238 OPS. It’s a small sample size, but he must see him well with numbers like that. If he’s in the lineup, I believe there’s money to be made on a name that might be just off the radar of Vegas.

Conversely, Trea Turner, JT Realmuto, and Alec Bohm have scattered just two hits across a combined 35 plate appearances. That’s not good.

While you expect everyone to bring their A-Game for the playoffs, it’s starting to make sense why Luzardo gets the nod. I’m staying away from props on Tuesday’s top half of the Phillies lineup and going all in on Sosa, Bryson Stott (.800 BA through five at-bats), and Johan Rojas (never faced Luzardo)

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Ring the ‘Josh’ Bell

We report as Philly fans, for Philly fans. However, Marlins first baseman Josh Bell has dominated Wheeler for his career.

Unlike Sosa, this isn’t a small sample size. Through 33 plate appearances, Bell has three homers, a .323 batting average, and a 1.009 OPS against the Phillies’ ace.

ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 11: Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Edmundo Sosa (33) picks up a Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud (16) ground ball to end the game 1 of the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadephia Phillies on October 11, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire)

While I like a little money scattered on a Bell home run, I like him to record at least 2+ bases. I never root for an opponent’s success, but this would be a nice leg in any number of SGPs, and we like making money.

Best Marlins vs Phillies betting offers

AP Photo/Matt Slocum