Jun 28, 2019
Wkd Series Prices - Best Bets
MLB Weekend Series Prices Best Bets
Last week's selection on the Angels in Albert Pujols' return to St Louis didn't work out as planned, as it's yet another weekend set that comes up short. It's been a tough go with these plays this year as easy victories are seemingly never followed up with another one the following week, but hopefully all of that changes starting with this weekend.
This weekend is a historic one for MLB as it's the first time they've had games played in London, England with the Yankees and Red Sox over there. It's going to be quite the scene for those games, especially with the slugging power both teams have and the field in London being a sub-400 foot wall to straight away center field. But there is too many unknowns in that series to give it any real consideration this weekend -outside of looking at 'overs' given the short wall – so it's back stateside for this week's play as we try and get back into the win column.
Series Price: Philadelphia (-190) vs Miami (+165)
After a wild 9th inning on Thursday that saw the Phillies cough up the lead, only to walk off with a win minutes later, Philadelphia heads down south for a series with the Marlins. These two teams hooked up in Philadelphia last weekend with the Marlins being able to win all three as underdogs to bring out the brooms. That was quite the surprising result to say the least, and given that it was so recently, Miami has to look better in this matchup for that fact alone. But the Marlins are still the Marlins, and the fact that their sweep in Philly was so recent might actually be a huge detriment this weekend.
For all the issues the Phillies have, they are still a team in the thick of a race for 1st place in their division. They have now won four in a row after sweeping the Mets, and even with a bullpen that continues to struggle mightily to close out games, this team is never really out of it as long as their bats are productive. Philly put up at least five runs in every one of those four wins over the Mets, and last weekend against Miami they only managed a total of eight runs scored in three full games. This team is built to win with offense, and with all the money spent there it's understandable to have weaknesses elsewhere.
Philadelphia's bullpen is definitely a concern in any game you've got a Phillies ticket in your pocket, and while Thursday's game only fans those flames, it's really just a concern you've got to live with. Backing the Phillies generally comes with the presumption that you'll be looking to ride that offense to victory more often then not, and if the bullpen blows it, well it's a must more realistic outcome now.
At the same time, those bullpen issues are helping the Phillies be a more truly priced team in the sense that they are no different then your above average offense with some pitching concerns. Stop me if you've seen that anywhere across the league in recent years.
The beginning of the year brought inflation to the Phillies lines because of all the big name acquisitions they made over the winter and spring. But 70+ games in now, they've got a known identity and it is one where bullpen concerns definitely linger. That can be more accurately priced in the marketplace, and with bettors who have been high on Philly since the preseason likely already suffering a handful of losses on Philly because of those bullpen blowups, there is more hesitation to go back to the well with them, keeping their odds manageable in that way as well.
Redemption is on the Phillies mind as well after the embarrassment of getting swept at home by THIS team last weekend still lingers. Even if Philly's offense gets average contributions for themselves, Miami still only scores nearly a league low 3.52 runs per game. Even on off days for either side of the ball on the Phillies side of things they should be able to win two of three in this scenario, there just can't be any horrible days for the bats and/or pitchers.
Last weekend at home there were horrible days on both ends in that series, as they wasted a great effort from Nola in the opener in a 2-1 loss, the bullpen blowing Game 2, and a rough outing by a guy in a spot starting role killed the Phillies in Game 3. This weekend they've got three full-fledged starters out there, and while they will have to deal with the young phenom Jordan Yamamoto this weekend, that's not necessarily a bad thing for the Phillies bats to see him again so soon.
The bullpen's got to carry their weight as the entire team can't afford to continue to drop games to teams like the Marlins, especially when it's within the division, and going up against a low-scoring offense is a potential confidence building experience for the Phillies bullpen if they can do their jobs. That's always going to be a concern with this team until they address it – likely by the trade deadline – but it's also something I can live with here backing them, at this price, in this revenge-type scenario.
Best Bet: Philadelphia to win the series