Early MLB Odds Give Reds Slight Edge but Picks Phillies to Clinch Series Sweep

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, June 4, 2015 2:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 4, 2015 2:42 PM UTC

This will be the Reds-Phillies last game of their 3-game series.  Philadelphia won the first 2 of these 3 games and for our MLB picks it's looking like a series sweep!

Cincinnati Reds (DeSclafani) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Harang) 7:05 ET
The Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies conclude this early week set with Game 3 of their series. Philadelphia won the first 2 of these 3 games with comeback victories by identical scores of 5-4.  Those 2 victories have signaled a change in momentum of these 2 teams.  Along with the decided advantage with starting pitchers, this is an easy call on Philly and Harang posted as -104 on the MLB odds.

According to our OPS Combined Rankings, the Cincinnati Reds should be playing far better than their 22-29 mark.  Entering a 3-game home weekend set against Washington, Cincinnati was on a 1-10 slide.  It looked like they had turned the corner with 3 consecutive home field victories against the Nationals.  But, they have reverted to their losing ways in early week defeats at the hands of the Phillies, dropping the Reds to 0-9 of late on the road.  Until Cincinnati can reverse their current form and negative road momentum, they must be considered a short-term play against.  DeSclafani has been streaky all season, resulting in mediocre numbers across the board.  The question is which pitcher shows up:  the one who in a 5-game stretch went 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA or the one who has rebounded to allow just 3 runs in 13 IP of his last 2 starts?  

It is no surprise that the Phillies have a record of 21-33.  Their .633 OPS batting number and .744 OPS pitching number leave them with a -111 combined OPS Index.  That is the worst number in the National League.  All signs point to them battling with Milwaukee for the worst record in the league at season end.  Prior to the victories vs. Cincinnati this week, the Phillies went on a 2-10 slide.  On their behalf, however, that decline was preceded by 6 consecutive wins.  Meaning, they have actually gone 10-10 in their last 20 games.  None of the negative numbers have been the fault of Harang, who after numerous seasons in the MLB, is at last “living the dream” of becoming a highly successful MLB pitcher.  Harang, who pitched for the Reds until 2010, has an excellent history against his former affiliation.  In 5 starts against the Reds, Harang has a 1.02 ERA.  Yet, it is his work to date that is most outstanding.  His 2.02 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and .592 OPS are all league-leading numbers which point to continued success.  His most recent 3 starts have been consistent with a 2.00 ERA.

Against a fading Cincinnati team and the questionable arm of DeSclafani, getting the Phillies at this home underdog price against a Reds’ team who has lost 9 straight road games provides us with definitive value.

MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -104 at BetOnline

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