Best MLB prop bet for today, 10/4: Phillies offense to produce at home
Yesterday’s prop article produced a winner as Zack Wheeler was able to exceed 17.5 outs recorded on the way to a Philadelphia Phillies Game 1 win over the Miami Marlins. Tonight, we are going right back to Philadelphia, but this time we are targeting their offense for our best bet. Let’s dive in!
Philadelphia Phillies team total over 4 (-122)
Odds available at Caesars and FanDuel Sportsbooks at time of publishing. Playable to -135.
With the Miami Marlins being on the brink of elimination and starting an arm they have been cautious with for years, I expect a lot of bullpen usage from them tonight as they look to keep their season alive. Despite the high likelihood of Miami emptying the bullpen and throwing numerous guys, I still see value on the Philadelphia Phillies team total in tonight’s matchup. Braxton Garrett will make his first career playoff appearance as he starts for Miami, making his 32nd appearance and 31st start on the year. The left-hander has thrown 159.2 innings on the season so far, a career-high mark as a pro at any level. Miami kept his leash short at the beginning of the year so he could be available in October, but his leash is still likely going to be short given tonight’s ramifications.
The Phillies won yesterday’s contest 4-1 gaining 3 of those runs off starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo. Philadelphia accrued 8 hits in just 4 innings against the southpaw. Their 11 hits in the game resulted in only 4 runs thanks to hitting a poor 3-14 with runners in scoring position, but there is reasoning to believe they will see some positive regression today. For starters, Garrett is a more exposable arm in general than Luzardo, and the Phillies have had success against him in both matchups this season. They earned 6 hits and 3 runs off him with Garrett lasting only 5 innings in each. Active Phillies have 72 combined PA against the 26-year-old while combining for a .353 AVG and 1.036 OPS. On the season he ranks 9th percentile in hard-hit rate and in the 13th percentile in xBA as well.
Since the All-Star break Philadelphia ranks 3rd in wOBA against left-handed pitching while producing a 123 wRC+. They also match up very well against Braxton’s specific pitch mix. Garrett utilizes 6 pitches, each seeing usage of at least 7.5%, but he leans most heavily on his sinker, slider and cutter. Those pitches account for 31.7%, 25.9%, and 17.7% of his usage respectively. Since the All-Star break the Phillies are 6th in wOBA against left-handed sinkers, 5th against left-handed sliders, and 1st against left-handed cutters. Even against changeups, curveballs and 4-seamers from left-handers they rank 4th, 11th and 12th in wOBA respectively.
While I am a fan of what Garrett brings to the table and look forward to betting on him again in future seasons, there is reason to believe he could regress in this type of setting. His last 11 starts have resulted in a 2.74 ERA thanks to a 53.1% ground-ball rate and 5.3% BB%. During that span, however, Garrett’s 3.74 FIP, 4.01 xFIP, 4.18 SIERA, 18.5% K%, 8.5% SwStr% and 41.7% hard-hit rate are not the type of numbers that are likely to sustain an ERA that low. In a tough matchup against a team that mashes his entire arsenal, I worry about his prospects in this game.
Miami’s bullpen has areas of vulnerability as well, leading me to prefer the full-game team total over a first 5 innings look in this game. While their bullpen has solid arms including Tanner Scott, other pieces have failed to live up to the standards you would desire down the stretch run. As a whole since the All-Star break Miami’s bullpen ranks 14th in FIP and 21st in ERA. In the last 30 days it has been worse, however, with the team sitting 20th in FIP and 27th in ERA. The Phillies are a more than competent offense against right-handed pitching, posting a 109 wRC+ with the 7th-highest wOBA against righties since the All-Star break. Hitting conditions are favorable tonight at Citizen’s Bank Park and the team’s 5.15 runs per game at home this year ranked as the 6th-highest mark in MLB during the regular season. As the home team I prefer taking the flat 4 and getting the chance at a push given the offense could see only 8 innings if leading after the top of the 9th. Regardless, I expect 5 or more runs and look for the Phillies to advance to the divisional round.