It's another edition of Sunday Night Baseball, and we have an exciting matchup on tap when the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies will aim to take this series after winning the last two in a row, but Atlanta will send its young stud Spencer Strider to the mound. The 24-year-old has had his fair share of control issues this season, but he should have his way against a swing-happy Philadelphia team and dominate with his monster fastball pitch.
How am I going to tail Strider? Find out in my MLB picks for the Braves vs. Phillies on May 28.
Phillies vs Braves odds
Phillies vs Braves predictions
It's felt like I've been wagering on every Spencer Strider start. Whether it's taking advantage of his location issues and playing his walks or strikeout props, I'm finding myself involved relatively often. Tonight I'm backing him to bounce back from a shaky start and deliver for the Atlanta Braves in a critical spot. I'm grabbing the young righty to record a win as my best bet.
To take advantage of Strider on the mound or at least to gain an edge, you mustn't do one thing — chase pitches. Strider's location can be suspect occasionally, and he's thrown around 40% of his pitches for balls over his last two starts. Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Phillies, they lack plate discipline in a big way. They are second in baseball in chase rate and compound those issues with a chase contact rate that is at the bottom in baseball.
By now you know what Strider does. He has an electric fastball that aids him in nightly double-digit strikeout numbers. You make things significantly more difficult on yourself when you give in to him by swinging at pitches outside the zone. It's what the hurler wants to do each time he takes the mound with an opponent's chase rate force that sits in the Top 12% of baseball.
Out of his ten starts this season, Strider has had three scoreless showings. Two came against teams ranking in the Top 10 of chase rate, Washington (eighth) and Miami (fourth). Philadelphia ranks higher than both teams in this category. The Phillies routinely swinging at these pitches will also go a long way to keep Strider's pitch count down, ensuring that he meets the requirements to record a win.
On the other side, the Braves are fully capable of putting together enough runs to ensure that Strider leaves the game with a lead. Unfortunately, we have little use of recent data on Dylan Covey. Still, it's one of the best offenses in baseball coming off a 1-run showing and trying to avoid a series loss — I'll back that narrative 365 days a week. It also doesn't hurt that Atlanta will send a lineup out that could include up to three players hitting over .500 against cutters this season, which is Covery's preferred pitch.
I'm fully expecting a Strider masterclass tonight, and this is one of the better ways to back that thought process. My projections made this -155 which gives us a significant edge.
My best bet: Strider to record a win (-120 at DraftKings)
Phillies vs Braves same-game parlay
Pretty simple correlated play here. We're simply taking the above logic and applying it. Since I'm backing Strider to record a win as my best bet, I'll expect the Braves to hold the lead after five innings. I'm also expecting that Austin Riley will remain hot. After a slow start to the season, he's started to pick up things lately and is in the midst of a hitting streak that's extended beyond ten games.
He's also the best hitter on the Braves against the aforementioned cutter, with a batting average right around .500 against it this season. Lastly, I'll pair it with Strider to hit double-digit Ks, which feels self-explanatory given Philly's high chase rate.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Phillies vs Braves moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The moneyline prices of -240 have made this unplayable for the Braves. Oddsmakers are thinking what almost everyone thinks, and that's that Atlanta's ace comes through for it to avoid a series loss. The best way to approach this game from a ML perspective is with the above same-game parlay. It best captures the value of this game and avoids laying such a large number.
While Philly has had some recent success against Atlanta, that success has yet to happen in Georgia. In fact, the Phillies are just 6-13 in their last 19 visits to Truist Park.
The total of 9.0 is fair. With that said, with winds blowing out and slightly warm conditions, the Over does have some appeal. However, I'll stay away.
I projected this total at 9.0, and that's the number that we've got from oddsmakers. The best approach for this one is to wait to live bet. As I've mentioned previously, the most significant part of most games has been the first inning for Spencer Strider. His last start was perfect evidence of this when he gave up two runs in the first inning and was mostly dominant after that. So waiting to see what his first inning brings in this matchup may have some value. Either way, you're looking at a live Under play.
When these two teams have met lately, the Over has been profitable. It's cashed in seven of the last 10 meetings.
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Trend to know
The Phillies are 6-13 in the last 19 meetings in Atlanta. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Braves
Phillies vs Braves game info
|Location:||Truist Park, Atlanta, GA|
|Date:||Sunday, May 28, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:10 p.m. ET|
Dylan Covey (0-0, 1.80 ERA): Veteran journeyman Dylan Covey has made his first extended appearance in the majors this season since 2020. Whether performance-based or injury-related, Covey has seen a long period in the minors before this season. He's been quite good in his return, too. His last start was the best of the pair he's made this season when he held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just one earned run in five innings of work.
Spencer Strider (4-2, 2.97 ERA): Strider is looking to make that jump this season and has seen some growing pains en route to it. Early innings are an issue for the young pitcher as he struggles with location and avoiding hard contact. With all that said, Strider is still one of the most impressive young arms in the game today and has an electric fastball, which often lends itself to large strikeout numbers.