Another week, another loss…that’s been the story of the second half of the MLB season so far for me. This time, I took Under 8.5 runs in last Friday’s Philadelphia Phillies game against the San Francisco Giants, and lost by a measly half run. The Giants won the game 7-2 and the bookies took down my money.
Last week’s loss dropped my season MLB betting record to 5-7, two games under .500 for the first time in quite a while. Let’s see if I can work my way back up this week.
The Background: The Phillies have been playing great baseball since coming out of the All-Star break. They’ve gone 8-4 in 12 games after the break, including four in a row and a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. The return of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay from the DL has proven wonders for the Phillies, but the team still sits with a 45-54 record, 14.5 games out of first place in the NL East and 9.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.
The next two series could prove huge for the Phillies, with three games starting tonight against the Atlanta Braves (54-44) followed by three games against the division-leading Washington Nationals (59-39). The projected starting pitching matchups for the Braves series are Cole Hamels vs. Ben Sheets, Joe Blanton vs. Mike Minor, and Halladay vs. Tim Hudson.
The Line: Phillies -105; Braves -105; O/U 7.5
My Take: Since signing with the Braves a few weeks ago, Sheets has been magnificent. He has lasted 6 innings in each of his two starts, allowing 7 total hits, 4 walks and 0 runs while striking out 11. He’s been quite the surprise for the Braves, considering he hasn’t pitched a game at the Major League level since 2010.
Hamels, meanwhile, has struggled a bit lately. He’s allowed 5 home runs in his last three starts, giving up 10 runs in those games. However, he has lasted at least 7 innings in each of those starts. Hamels now also doesn’t have to worry about being dealt before the trade deadline on Monday, after he put his signature on a 6-year, $144 million contract. Hamels has faced the Braves once this year. Back on May 1, he got the no-decision in a game the Phillies won 4-2.
With the way the Phillies have been playing lately, I think the -105 line is quite the bargain, especially with Hamels on the hill. There’s something about Sheets that I just don’t trust, either, despite his success in his first two starts. That’s why I’m putting my money on the line with the hometown Phillies.