Despite both the Phillies and Giants having high hopes coming into the season- especially the defending NL Champion Phils- both have struggled thus far in 2023, and are sitting just below .500 with about a month and a half in the books. Let’s take a look at the odds for their Wednesday afternoon clash, where my prediction is for a Phillies win.
Phillies Vs. Giants Prediction
Not only have both teams struggled as a whole, but so have the starting pitchers for this game in particular. San Francisco’s Sean Manea is having an especially brutal start to the year; his ERA is just shy of 8 after 26 innings of work, and he’s given up 7 homers already. Things are a bit better for Taijuan Walker, but with a 5.75 ERA he’s nowhere near his best form.
Both teams have been decent swinging the bat, albeit slightly unlucky; both are slightly outside of the top 10 in team OPS, but just inside the top 20 when it comes to actually scoring runs. Where they’ve differed a good bit is quality and frequency of contact. Philly is soundly within the top 10 for team batting average, while the Giants are below league average, and conversely, the Giants are tied for the fourth-most homers in baseball while the Phillies are tied for 20th in that category.
In addition to positive regression from slumping stars like Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner, Philly’s offense will be looking for a continued boost following the return of Bryce Harper. The two-time MVP has been in great form since his lightning-fast return from Tommy John surgery, and will be the apex of this team’s offense going forward.
It’s been a bit more of an egalitarian attack for the Giants, with the exception being a nice start to what could be a breakout year for LaMonte Wade Jr., who leads the team thus far with an impressive .948 OPS.
Even though they’re on the road, I’m going to trust Philly to pick up the win, with their superior offensive talent and less-concerning starting pitcher for this particular matchup. Regarding the runs total, even with a high number at 9.5, the over is the only choice, once again because of the pitching matchups. It’s no lock, but if you must take a side, there’s no way to justify betting on this pair to limit the scoring right now.
Phillies Vs. Giants Prediction: Phillies ML (-125), o9.5 runs (+100)
Phillies Vs. Giants Odds
On the road, the Phillies are -125 favorites, while the Giants are +105 at home. For a run total of 9.5, the over is +100 while the under is -120
Phillies Vs. Giants Key Matchups
Taijuan Walker Vs. Giants X-Factors
The Giants lineup continues to be less than 100% with Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford sidelined, but don’t write them off just yet- there might be some surprises up manager Gabe Kapler’s sleeve.
One of those would be rookie utility man Casey Schmitt, who has played just 7 games in the big leagues, but has already seen time at all three non-first base infield positions, and even has relief pitcher listed as a tertiary position on his baseball reference page.
He’s also been absolutely crushing the ball, albeit across a small sample size of 32 at-bats. He’s homered twice and is hitting well over .400, which all contributes to a ridiculous OPS of 1.188. Obviously it’s extremely early, but there’s something to be said for a strong start, and that’s exactly what this is from the San Diego State Product.
LaMonte Wade Jr. has also been better than expected at the top of the San Francisco lineup. After a fairly nondescript start to his career, with a pretty nice 2021 mixed in, he’s off to a great start this season. He leads the team in WAR thus far, and his OPS of .948 is tops amongst all Giants who have over 40 at bats. As a lefty, it would be especially great for him to set the tone against the righty Walker, who has struggled just a bit more with lefties this year and across his career.
Sean Manea Vs. Phillies Lefties
As rough as things have been for Manea, they’ve been less rough against left-handed bats, continuing a trend that has extended across his career. Luckily for him, giving him a glimmer of hope in a tough time, Philly has an extremely left-handed lineup, which could make for a more interesting matchup.
Two major lefty bats in the middle of the lineup are Bryce Harper, undoubtedly the team’s best player, and Kyle Schwarber, the defending NL home run champ. Unsurprisingly, the gap is less pronounced for Harper, the more well-rounded hitter, but both do have a significant platoon split, so we’ll have to watch out and see how they do against the southpaw Manea.
Bryson Stott is having a decent start to the year for Philly, especially in terms of being a contact bat at the top of the lineup. He’s not nearly as imposing as Harper or Schwarber, but the young infielder also does not really have platoon splits; it would be a nice boost for Philly if he’s able to provide a spark from the leadoff spot when some of the team’s major bats may have a tough day. Regardless, this offense has plenty of firepower, which is a major reason I have them hitting their -125 moneyline in my Phillies vs. Giants prediction.
Phillies Vs. Giants Starting Lineups
Phillies Starting Lineup
2B B. Stott L
SS T. Turner R
DH B. Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
LF K. Schwarber L
C J. Realmuto R
3B A. Bohm R
CF B. Marsh L
1B K. Clemens L
Giants Starting Lineup
1B L. Wade L
2B T. Estrada R
3B J. Davis R
RF M. Conforto L
LF M. Haniger R
CF M. Yastrzemski L
SS C. Schmitt R
DH B. Sabol (L)
C J. Bart (R)