The Philadelphia Phillies are playing so poorly right now, it would be a smart move to bet against them every night. Of course, I’m realizing this today and not last week, when I took the Phillies over the Miami Marlins. That did not work out for me, strangely enough (detect sarcasm?).
Last week’s loss pushed me to 4-5 on the season in MLB bets. The Phillies conclude the unofficial first half of the season with a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves starting tonight. After that, they’ll take a break along with the rest of the league for the All Star festivities. It’s a break that they need desperately.
Let’s hope that they end the first half on a bright note, and let’s hope that I’m able to do the same thing as well.
The Background: Where to start? It’s been an ugly first half for the Phillies. They’ve lost 7 of their last 8 games, including last night’s debacle at the hands of the New York Mets. They haven’t won a series since June 19-21 against the Colorado Rockies, and they’ve won only 2 out of 10 series since the start of June. They sit 10 games under .500 (37-47) for the season and are an astonishing 13 games out of first place in the National League East division.
This weekend, they take on the division-rival Atlanta Braves (43-39). The projected pitching matchups for the series are Kyle Kendrick vs. Tim Hudson, Joe Blanton vs. Tommy Hanson and Vance Worley vs. Jair Jurrjens.
The Line: Braves -123, Phillies +113, O/U 9
My Take: As I mentioned in the opening of this article, it would be a good bet to pick against the Phillies every night at this point. So that’s exactly what I’m doing – picking against the Phillies. Even at -123, the Braves are a good bet tonight, in my mind.
The Braves have the advantage in just about every category, including the starting pitchers. Kendrick (2-8) has struggled mightily this season and has allowed 5 earned runs or more in 4 of his last 5 starts. Hudson (6-4) hasn’t been spectacular this season and is coming off a rough outing, but is still the much better option. In the month of June, he allowed only 6 earned runs in 28 innings (1.93 ERA).
As much as I don’t like picking against the Phillies, I’d be stupid not to do so. Even the possible return of Ryan Howard – yes, he may be in tonight’s lineup – can’t change my mind.