MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
First pitch: 7:20 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network (in select areas)
Probable pitchers: Aaron Nola (1-4, 3.96 ERA) vs. Kyle Wright (4-2, 2.49 ERA)
The first three contests of this four-game series between National League East division residents all sailed over the total. Now, how will this evening’s finale unfold?
While both sides trot out potent batting orders, I’m envisioning the starting pitching being in control. Look no further than how each arm has been performing.
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Aaron Nola is the more-known commodity in this affair despite an overall disappointing campaign last year. As I’ve highlighted, though, Nola was far better than that 9-9 record and 4.63 ERA he finished with in 2021, illustrated by a 1.13 WHIP and career-best strikeout rate of 11.11 K/9, which was among the league leaders. Additionally, opposing hitters hit .237 off the former No. 7 overall draft pick.
So you see, Nola was actually at least fairly good a season ago, especially when looking at the 3.37 FIP and 3.37 xFIP he compiled. This year, it’s been more of the same, with Nola pitching to a standout 2.68 xFIP and 2.75 xERA while carrying a relatively high 3.96 ERA into tonight’s start.
There’s no way Nola will continue to hover around that 4.00 plateau. Not only have the excessive K’s still been there (11.01 K/9 through nine starts), his current walk rate (1.72 BB/9) has never culminated lower.
All of these are signs that Nola is in rhythm and he’ll be in position to serve more quality pitching against an opponent he’s had success with. In fact, Nola has had more meetings opposite Atlanta than any other club in his career and in those 25 lifetime matchups spanning 154.1 innings, Nola is 12-8 with a cool 3.38 ERA.
Don’t sleep on Kyle Wright either. True, it’s taken him a handful of years to finally experienced sustained success at the big-league level but he’s proving he’s for real.
The only other time Wright made eight starts in a season was the pandemic-shortened campaign of 2020, and although the results there were disappointing, the Vanderbilt product (and also a former No. 5 overall pick) has resembled a completely different pitcher.
In his eight starts this season, Wright is 4-2 with a desirable 2.49 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Most impressively, the fifth-year right-hander has the seventh-best strikeout rate (10.72 K/9) in the Majors, even ahead of decorated names like Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes. Not only that, his home-run rate (0.4 HR/9) and batting average against (.206) sit Wright amongst the top 10 in the league as well.
Wright has not faced the Phillies in two years but that’s something that can play into his favor if those veteran mashers aren’t familiar at all with the 26-year-old.
Of course, the one bugaboo about trying to dig out an under in a Phillies game can be their unpopular bullpen. However, it’s really not as bad as many say, etching a respectable 4.23 ERA as a group. With Nola on the hill anyway, he should occupy the majority of the bout, if not go deep.
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “23-19-5,” +1.23 units
Yesterday’s Result: Athletics-Mariners Under 7 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit