Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Wednesday's Best Bet

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Wednesday MLB Betting Preview
Philadelphia vs Atlanta

The Philadelphia Phillies grabbed a huge series opener win on Tuesday night in their series with the Braves, as Philly is trying to gain as much ground as possible on Atlanta before the All-Star break. Wednesday's game sees the Phils enter the contest 4.5 games behind the Braves for 1st in the NL East, and getting the deficit down to say three games by the break has to be the goal. Philly and Atlanta still have plenty of games scheduled in the second half of the season, so Philly just wants to be within striking distance when those arrive.

Last night's 2-0 Phillies win was a good old fashioned pitchers duel between Aaron Nola and Dallas Keuchel. All of the scoring came on one hit – a double by Jay Bruce – as both offenses, which have been great all season at launching balls out of ballparks, couldn't get anything going. I doubt that's the case again tonight, and with a double-digit total posted, oddsmakers agree.

MLB Odds: Philadelphia (+116) vs Atlanta (-125); Total set at 11

After opening at 10.5, tonight's total has already seen some 'over' support this morning, pushing the number up to a flat '11'. It's one thing to expect both offenses to rebound after such a poor showing, but it's a completely different thing to expect them to bounce back enough to score 12+ total runs. Don't get me wrong, we could easily see a 7-5 type game tonight with the way these two teams can hit when they are at their best, especially when Braves starter Bryse Wilson has seen opponents finish with 8 and 9 runs respectively against his team in his two starts this year, one of which was this same Phillies team back at the end of March.

Phillies starter Nick Pivetta hasn't fared well in two starts against Atlanta this year either, as he was the opposing pitcher in that previous Bryse Wilson start back in March. Atlanta's finished Pivetta's starts with 6 and 9 runs scored respectively, both easily cashing 'over' tickets, and you know with both sides having questionable bullpens all the way through, you can understand both the matchup (starters/bullpen) and situation (both offenses rebounding) favoring all that support for the 'over'.

But 11 is still a high number to surpass, and given that home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth only sees 9.3 runs per game on average, we might get a scenario where the bats do bounce back, but it's only to the tune of 9 or 10 total runs, meaning the 'under' still hits. That's why I'm looking to play on the side instead, as it's there where there appears to be more value.

Wilson is a guy that's makings these spot starts as to save the rest of Atlanta's rotation a bit, and outside of being the home team, I'm not entirely sure why they are the favorites tonight. Obviously the Braves have the better record as well so that plays into it too, but to be giving a very good team like the Phillies 15 cents on the dollar against a spot-starter, looks like too much value to pass up.

The Phillies are the ones that are more desperate in these matchups right now as it's them playing catch up in the standings, and head-to-head matchups with the potential prey always take on added significance no matter the time of year. They've got all the power offensively they need to out-slug Atlanta if the game turns into that type of contest, and with a 6-2 SU run going in divisional play, and a 4-1 SU run going when coming off a win, the Phillies definitely know how to be near their best in these types of spots.

Having Pivetta on the hill is a little concerning in that he's allowed multiple HR's in three straight starts – including three HR's allowed to this Braves team in a 9-8 Phillies loss back in mid-June – but if he can keep his mistakes to a minimum and maybe make sure that any HR balls are of the one-run variety, this Philly offense that has given him 5.8 runs of support per start this year can help carry him to the winner's circle.

The fact that this line has already come down in favor of the Phillies suggests that I'm not the only one viewing this game from this type of lens, as Wilson starts for Atlanta are getting to the point where it's almost an automatic fade regardless of price, but as a favorite it makes that decision a lot easier.

MLB Best Bet: Philadelphia ML

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