The NBA Finals will overshadow all of the MLB games tonight, but there are still some good betting opportunities out there if you look hard enough. Take, for instance, the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. Interleague action in the Bronx means that the Phils will add another hitter for this matchup, as we have the National League team as a road favorite in the -130 range at BetOnline Sportsbook with a total of 9.
It will be Aaron Nola in his return from COVID-19 against Domingo German. Let’s see what tonight’s game has in store.
The Phillies are having an excellent month of July and could very well be the team to knock off the Mets in the NL East Division. Philadelphia was one of a handful of teams to have Monday off on the heels of taking three out of four from Miami to start the second half. That series win pushed the Phillies out to 10-4 in July.
The Phils were rooting for the Reds in last night’s crazy back-and-forth game between the Mets and Cincinnati, but the New York side was the winning side and now Philadelphia sits 2.5 games back. The Phillies are 47-45 with a negative run differential, so we’ll have to watch for some signs of regression out of them.
After all, this is a Phillies offense that ranks 14th in wOBA and only has a 94 wRC+, one of two teams in the top 16 in wOBA that have a wRC+ below league average. The other is the Reds, oddly enough. Philadelphia’s offensive production has come from a variety of sources, as nobody stands out in a huge way except for Bryce Harper, but guys like J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and Andrew McCutchen have all chipped in.
The strength of the Phillies roster is the rotation. Aaron Nola has actually not been as good as expected this season with a 4.53 ERA, but you can see a lot of bad luck in his profile based on a 3.86 xERA, a 3.47 FIP, and a 3.37 xFIP. Nola has a .331 BABIP against and just a 71.3% LOB%, even though his Hard Hit% is much better than league average at 36.8% and he’s struck out just under 30% of opposing batters.
Nola has not pitched since July 6 and was not pitching well when he hit the COVID-19 IL. Nola had allowed 17 runs on 23 hits in his last four starts before battling the illness. He was rocked by San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago, so one good offense and two bad ones. It is definitely fair to wonder how he’ll end up tonight.
New York Yankees
Speaking of COVID issues, the Yankees have some of their own, as their offense will take the field tonight without Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela once again. The Yankees are also missing Kyle Higashioka, Nestor Cortes, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Wandy Peralta due to contact tracing. The shorthanded Yankees are also missing Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, and several other pitchers due to injury.
Fortunately, Brian Cashman has put together some pretty good depth with this organization, so the Yankees can survive those kind of hits. Certainly the lineup could look a lot stronger, but there are enough pieces to get by. The Yankees offense ranks 13th in wOBA and has been on the rise of late, as some of the hard contact is finally starting to pay off.
The Yankees have spent most of the year in the top five in Hard Hit%, meaning that they’ve had a lot of batted balls with exit velocities of 95+ mph. They just haven’t had much to show for it, especially with runners in scoring position, where they rank 26th in wOBA. If they can start to capitalize on more of their run-scoring chances, then we could see a boost in their record.
Domingo German gets the call tonight with a 4.72 ERA and a 4.65 FIP. He’s pitched 82 innings over 15 starts and three relief appearances this season after missing all of last year with a domestic violence suspension. He’s given up 16 home runs, which has been the root cause of his issues. Otherwise, he’s only allowed a hit per inning with a BABIP against of .282. His K and BB numbers are decent and so are his other peripherals. The home run has just been the problem.
The Yankees bullpen has been a problem recently as well. Aroldis Chapman’s stuff quality has gone down. Loaisiga was pitching in high-leverage and he is in the protocols. Darren O’Day is also hurt. At least Zach Britton recently returned, but Aaron Boone has had to do some shuffling down there.
Phillies vs. Yankees Free Pick
Tough game here on a Tuesday because Nola hasn’t pitched in two weeks and German has only thrown six relief innings since June 30 after losing his rotation spot. The two offenses have largely been hit or miss, though we have seen a lot of offense lately as pitchers try to get back into rhythm. With Nola struggling before contracting COVID and German’s home run problem, the over is the look in this one.