The Phillies took the first game of this series between two NL contenders. The Phillies are slight favorites today with -115 moneyline odds compared to the Dodgers’ -105 odds, but the Dodgers are favored on the run line at -1.5 (+155). The over/under is at 9 runs with +100 odds on the under and -120 on the over. The prediction here is that the Dodgers win a low-scoring game where the under hits.
Dodgers vs. Phillies Prediction
Starting pitchers RHP Bobby Miller (2-0, 1.06 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (5-4, 4.30 ERA)
Despite starting his MLB career a bit earlier than expected, Bobby Miller has been everything the Dodgers hoped for when they selected him in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. Miller has thrown at least five innings and allowed 1 or fewer runs in each of his first three career starts, becoming just the second Dodger ever to post numbers like that in his first three appearances (Kenta Maeda did it in 2016).
Miller has not faced the easiest matchups either. Two of his three starts have come against top 10 offenses in the Braves and Yankees. Can he keep it up against a suddenly surging Phillies lineup?
If he does, this could become a pitchers’ duel with Aaron Nola on the mound for Philadelphia. Nola has had a disappointing start to the season, but he showed signs of turning things around in his last outing against Detroit, which was easily his best start of the year so far. He carried a no-hitter through 6-2/3 innings and tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts.
That was Nola’s first start of the season with zero earned runs allowed, though he did allow a three-run homer where all the runs were scored as unearned thanks to an error that kept the inning alive.
That’s where the danger lies with Nola – his propensity for spoiling a fantastic outing with just one bad pitch that gets sent flying out of the yard. He has allowed 13 home runs this season (tied for 8th most) a career-high 4.0% of opponents’ plate appearances. He gave up three homers and six earned runs in 12-1/3 innings pitched against the Dodgers last season.
Both pitchers have reasons for optimism and reasons for doubt, but I have more concerns about Nola right now. Considering his stellar previous outing came against a horrendous and struggling Tigers lineup, I want to see more before I trust him, especially against the potent Dodgers’ lineup that is 2nd in the league in home runs.
For that reason, I am taking the Dodgers’ moneyline in this game, where you can get slightly better odds than the Phillies’ moneyline. With these two pitchers on the mound, I also like the +100 odds on the under at 9 runs.
Dodgers vs. Phillies Prediction: Dodgers ML (-105), u9 runs (+100)
Dodgers vs. Phillies Odds
The Phillies’ opened as slight home favorites at -115 on the moneyline, while the Dodgers are also less than even money at -105. The run line has the visitors at -1.5 (+155) while the Phillies are getting +1.5 runs at -180 odds.
The over/under for this game is 9 runs, with the over at -120 and the under at +100.
Dodgers vs. Phillies Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Dodgers vs. Phillies.
Aaron Nola vs. Dodgers’ power hitters
As noted above, the key for Nola to have a successful outing is avoiding the long ball. That is no easy task against this Dodgers lineup that has hit 107 home runs this season, 2nd most in the league.
Three Dodgers’ hitters are in the top 10 in home runs this season: Max Muncy (18, 3rd), Mookie Betts (16, 7th), and J.D. Martinez (15, 10th). Betts has two career homers against Nola in just 16 plate appearances.
Nola allows more home runs against righties than he does against lefties, and both Betts and Martinez are righties. I expect Nola to give up at least one home run in this game, which is part of the reason I picked the Dodgers’ moneyline in my Dodgers vs. Phillies prediction.
The Dodgers’ bullpen has struggled this season. Their 4.71 ERA is 27th in the majors. With the rookie Miller on the mound, the Dodgers will likely need at least three innings from their bullpen. They have been cautious with Miller in his first three starts since he has not logged many innings after returning from a shoulder injury earlier this year.
It’s also reasonable to expect Miller could slip up despite his stellar start, especially against a Phillies lineup that has been heating up. If he does, the Dodgers will be even more reliant on their ‘pen.
Philadelphia has had one of the better relief staffs this season. While their 3.90 ERA is middle of the pack, they have been top 10 in FIP (3.92) and seventh in WAR, according to FanGraphs. They will also be bolstered by the return of lefty Jose Alvarado from the IL.
If this game is close and late, the Phillies’ superior bullpen could become the difference in the matchup.
Dodgers vs. Phillies Starting Lineups (Projected)
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF Mookie Betts (R)
1B Freddie Freeman (L)
C Will Smith (R)
DH J.D. Martinez (R)
3B Max Muncy (L)
LF David Peralta (L)
2B Miguel Vargas (R)
SS Chris Taylor (R)
CF James Outman (L)
Phillies Starting Lineup
LF Kyle Schwarber (L)
RF Nick Castellanos (R)
DH Bryce Harper (L)
SS Trea Turner (R)
C J.T. Realmuto (R)
2B Bryson Stott (L)
F Brandon Marsh (L)
3B Edmundo Sosa (R)
1B Kody Clemens (L)