Diamondbacks at Phillies Free Tuesday Play

On April 24, 2018, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Diamondbacks minus $1.04 at Phillies

I’m far from convinced new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler knows what he’s doing. Some of his moves have resembed Gabe Kaplan more than Connie Mack.

Still, the Phillies have been riding some surprising early season solid pitching to win nine of their last 11 games on their way to 14-7 record.

However, the Phillies are trumped by the Diamondbacks, who have the second-best record in baseball at 15-6.

The Diamondbacks are better than the Phillies, losers of 96 games last year, and have the superior starter in a pitching matchup of Robbie Ray versus Vince Velasquez.

Ray is on the cusp of being an elite pitcher. He’s been at his best, too, pitching on the road. Arizona is 14-3 during his past 17 away starts. Ray is 9-1 in those starts with a 2.03 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings. His 13.3 K/9 rate this season was tied for the best mark in baseball entering this week. Arizona is 19-7 in Ray’s last 26 overall starts.

Velasquez has a 2.41 ERA during his last three starts. That’s a rare consistent stretch for Velasquez, who has a high ceiling but rarely has shown any sustained progress. His ERA during his two years with the Phillies are 5.12 and 4.12. It’s 3.80 so far this season. Philadelphia has lost in 20 of Velasquez’s last 28 starts.

Despite their excellent early season records, neither the Diamondbacks nor Phillies have high batting averages, or a lot of home runs. The difference is the Diamondbacks have reliable veteran stars such as Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock while the Phillies have unproven young talent.

Ray has held batters to a .118 batting average with runners in scoring position. Opponents are batting .292 versus Velasquez with runners in scoring position.

The Diamondbacks have dominated the Phillies in Philadelphia, too. They’ve won the past seven times at Citizens Bank Park with the average victory margin during this span being by 3.2 runs.


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