Chad Billingsley has been a disappointment for the Dodgers despite his 10-9 record while Vance Worley of the Phillies is not as good as his 8-1 record. With the ball carrying well in day games, go ‘over’.
Look for more scoring in this marquee MLB battle Wednesday than some people expect when Vance Worley and the Philadelphia Phillies (76-40 overall, 35-22 away) pay a visit to Chad Billingsley and the Los Angeles Dodgers (52-63 overall, 28-33 home) as the teams wrap up a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 3:10 ET.
The Phillies have taken the first two games of this series, taking the opener Monday 5-2 as Roy Halladay bested Hiroki Kuroda and then the second game in a pitchers’ duel 2-1 Tuesday as Cliff Lee outpitched Ted Lilly. What is interesting about today’s game is that the total is set only one-half run higher than last night despite this looking like the worst pitching matchup in this series on paper, so we feel that the ‘over’ has value here.
The Phillies have the best record in all of baseball, and they have an 8½ game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. The Phillies are winning because they have four starting pitchers that would be aces for other teams now that Roy Oswalt is back. That is no slight on today’s starter Worley, as he has done as well as can be expected, but he is without question the Phillies’ fifth starter, and low posted totals like this are usually reserved for the elite.
The Dodgers are in danger of finishing in last place for only the second time since moving to Los Angeles, although they are currently in fourth place in the National League West, two games ahead of the last place San Diego Padres and 11 games behind the division-leading San Francisco Giants. Their starter Billingsley has been a disappointment this season even with his 10-9 record, as he has a high 4.17 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.
The posted total for this contest is 7, with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -115.
Now Worley is a surprising 8-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.10 WHIP as the fifth starter, but keep in mind that is over only 84.1 innings. He has also allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his last nine starts, but only six of those were Quality Starts as he failed to complete six innings in the two other outings.
That is precisely the knock we have against Worley, as Atlanta has done it best to protect him by yanking him with leads rather early in games and then letting its great bullpen protect that lead. That is not necessarily a bad thing as Worley has pitched very well over the first five innings in most of his starts, but he is simply not as unhittable as the other Phillies’ starters despite him having the best record on the staff.
Then again, Billingsley and the Dodgers’ bullpen may allow enough runs here that Worley may become almost moot in regards to this total, especially considering how low it is. Billingsley has allowed 14 earned runs and 34 baserunners over just 24 innings in his last four starts and opposing batters are hitting a rather high .260 off of him for the year.
On top of that, the Los Angeles bullpen has not provided much relief, with a rather modest 4.03 ERA over the entire season. Yes, the pen has been better lately, but it did allow a couple o key runs Monday in the series opener.
It may not be easy, but we do see these clubs scoring at least eight runs today, especially since the ball carries much better at Dodger Stadium during day games.
MLB Pick: Phillies, Dodgers ‘over’ 7 (-115)