Phillies vs Dodgers Picks and Predictions: Anderson Outduels Wheeler

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have found a diamond in the rough in Tyler Anderson, as the southpaw has started his Hollywood tenure in great form as their presumptive fifth starter. We like him to keep rolling tonight against the Phillies.

Last Updated: May 12, 2022 2:18 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tyler Anderson Los Angeles Dodgers MLB
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The Los Angeles Dodgers (20-9) are the best team in the National League, but surprisingly dropped their early-week series against the Pirates. They return home after a seven-game road trip and will lock up with the Philadelphia Phillies (14-17), who are looking to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in two weeks.

Can Phillies ace Zack Wheeler bring home the win or will Tyler Anderson, the fresh face in this year's Dodgers' rotation, continue to build on an impressive 2022 campaign?

Continue reading for free MLB betting picks and predictions for the Phillies vs Dodgers matchup on Thursday, May 12th.

Phillies vs Dodgers odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Dodgers opened as favorites in the -135 range and have moved up to -145 by this writing. The total opened at 8 and has stayed there, with some movement on the juice favoring the Under.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Phillies vs Dodgers predictions

Picks made on 5/12/2022 at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Phillies vs Dodgers game info

Location: Dodger Stadium, City, State/Province
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, SportsNet LA

Phillies vs Dodgers betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.10 ERA): Wheeler has served as the Phillies' ace since joining the team in 2020, recording a 2.82 ERA during that span and finishing as the runner-up in National League Cy Young voting in 2021. Wheeler turned in a scoreless six-inning effort last week after allowing 11 earned runs in eight innings across his previous two starts.

Tyler Anderson (3-0, 2.78 ERA): Anderson has been a middle-of-the-rotation type arm for most of his career. After landing with the Dodgers this offseason, marking his fifth team in four years, Anderson has surprised so far with a 2.78 ERA and 0.97 WHIP — career-best marks by a very wide margin (3.54 and 1.25 were his previous bests, respectively).


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Phillies: None.
Dodgers: Blake Treinen RP (Out), Victor Gonzalez RP (out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Dodgers have been the fifth-best team towards Unders, going 17-10-2 (63.0%) that way. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Dodgers

Phillies vs Dodgers picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

Before 2022, there was nothing remotely noteworthy about Tyler Anderson. His career marks included a 4.55 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 8.1 accumulated WAR across seven seasons, which suggested the recent journeyman was nothing more than an innings-eater you could throw in the back half of your rotation. And that is exactly who the free-spending Dodgers expected to add when they signed the 32-year-old to a one-year, $8-million contract last offseason.

What they have gotten thus far, however, is someone entirely different. Anderson has maintained a level of dependability, pitching exactly between four to five innings and allowing no more than two earned runs in each of his five starts. Anderson has been a master at generating soft contact and maintaining an above-average strikeout rate while featuring one of the league's lowest fastball velocities among starters. In fact, when looking at Anderson's profile, he eerily profiles extremely similarly to Kyle Hendricks in his prime:

Tyler Anderson in 2022 Kyle Hendricks in 2016
Fastball velocity 4th percentile 6th percentile
Exit velocity 90th 90th
Hard hit percentage 91st 97th
Strikeout rate 60th 64th
Whiff percentage 62nd 62nd
Walk rate 77th 80th

That 2016 season was of course the year the Cubs won the World Series, and if Anderson can continue to pitch anywhere near this level, the Dodgers may live up to their status as odds-on favorites. But the Dodgers aren't and won't continue to be serious contenders just because of their proficiency on one side of the ball.

Los Angeles' 5.14 runs per game lead the major leagues and they are just one of two teams to average more than five runs a game. They win on that side of the ball in numerous ways, ranking favorably in walk rate (first), strikeout avoidance (seventh), and slugging percentage (eighth). They also aren't as reliant on the long ball as you'd expect, ranking league-average in home runs.

That offense gets to pick on a struggling Zack Wheeler, who has seen some notable dips compared to his 2021 campaign in which he finished as the NL Cy Young runner-up. Last year, it was hard to find an advanced metric that Wheeler didn't excel in. He ranked in the 90th percentile or better in fastball velocity (94th), average exit velocity (99th), hard-hit percentage (97th), expected ERA (94th), expected weighted on-base average (94th), barrel rate (92nd) — the list goes on.

Comparatively, Wheeler has dropped to the 80th percentile or worse in all of those metrics except one (barrel rate). His strikeout rate has also notably cratered from the 84th percentile to the 50th, which doesn't bode well against the aforementioned discipline of the Dodgers' lineup.

In fact, across the respectably sizable sample size of 166 plate appearances against these Dodgers, Wheeler has allowed a .336 batting average and .426 wOBA. As a former NL East resident, Freddie Freeman in particular has terrorized Wheeler with a .438 batting average and .646 slugging percentage across 64 plate appearances.

Prediction: Dodgers moneyline (-140 at PointsBet)

Over/Under analysis

The Phillies' O/U record is nothing notable, going 15-14-2 (51.7%) towards the Over. However, the Dodgers — with their stellar pitching (both starters and relief) — have been the fifth-best team towards Unders, going 10-17-2 O/U.

If Anderson can put up another 4-5 inning appearance with no more than two earned runs as he has in every start this season, then the Dodgers' bullpen that ranks fifth in ERA, second in batting average allowed, and first in WHIP is likely to keep the Phillies to a more than manageable output.

And while the wind projects to blow 8-12 mph out towards right field during the game, the humidity projects to be as low as 23%. That is much lower than the average for May and much lower than the standardized 50% humidity that all balls are kept at now that every ballpark uses a humidor. For the uninitiated, lower humidity means the ball will not travel as far.

Prediction: Under 8 (-109 at UniBet)

Best bet

If you were told before the season that you would get Wheeler as a moderate underdog against Anderson, you would have been a fool not to take those odds on the spot. However, this is why baseball games and seasons are played and not projected.

Over a month of baseball has been played and we've seen enough to make adjustments based on what we've seen. And given that Wheeler has tangibly struggled to replicate the success of last season — or even the one prior — while Anderson has begun a potential breakout campaign, the value proposition has also changed.

The Dodgers, by all accounts, are the better team for tonight's showdown.

PickDodgers moneyline (-140 at PointsBet)

MLB parlays

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Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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