The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Philadelphia on Monday night to start a three game series against the Phillies.
The Phillies will hope that Zack Wheeler's underlying metrics show on the mound as the team looks to climb closer to .500 at 22-24 against a surprising upstart in the D-Backs, who are 27-20 and one of the best stories in baseball this season.
Wheeler has had an up-and-down start to the season, but has a noted pitching advantage against Arizona starter, lefty Tommy Henry, who will look to key in on the Phillies left handed hitting struggles.
Here are the odds for Monday's matchup:
Diamondbacks vs. Phillies odds, run line and total
Diamondbacks vs. Phillies prediction and pick
Wheeler's numbers suggest that his 4.06 ERA is a bit of an aberration. He has a Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 2.41, hinting that he has been a bit unlucky. Hitters are posting a .333 batting average on balls in play, which has offset his 10.76 K/9 rate. The Phillies pitcher is due for some regression and some easy outs.
While the Diamondbacks are a top five hitting team this season (.266 batting average this season), I give the edge to Wheeler on the mound as his ability to generate swings and misses is going to be paramount against Arizona who is top third in strikeout rate.
If Wheeler can find his punch out pitch, he'll be able to limit the D-Backs ability to do damage on the base paths. For what it's worth, Arizona goes from third in batting average at home to 17th on the road, so this can be a good spot for Wheeler.
On the other side, the Phillies are tied for the worst on-base percentage in baseball against lefties, but I struggle to trust Henry against a Phillies team that has proven capable against hitting lefties over the long term, including stars Trea Turner and Bryce Harper. Henry has an ERA north of 5.00 and is walking four batters per nine innings.
The second year pro is yet to strike out more than four batters in his five starts this season and he is backed by a bottom 10 bullpen in terms of ERA. Ultimately, the Phillies offense is going to get to this D-Backs pitching staff.
With Wheeler pointing up long term, and Henry yet to establish himself in the bigs, I think the Phils win big to start the early week series.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.