Best MLB player prop bets for today 5/1: Phillies and Wheeler take early lead

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Javan Shouey


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A lifelong sports fan from Northwestern Pennsylvania. Die-hard supporter of the Steelers, Pirates and Cavaliers. Insane passion for writing about sports and helping others improve. Incredibly thankful for the platform Pickswise is giving me. For Javan Shouey media enquiries, please email
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Today marks the beginning of May baseball, and historically May has been one of my favorite months to bet on the sport. We can see overreactions from hot starts, underreactions to players in decline, and a lot can change about what we think we know. There is a play standing out to me in the Phillies vs Angels game today that I would like to highlight. Let’s dive into my best MLB prop bet of the day, while you can also find out our best MLB picks for today’s action.

Philadelphia Phillies first 5 innings -0.5 (-120)

Odds available at BetMGM sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -130 odds. Risking 1u.

The Phillies offense had a slow start to 2024, but they have turned a corner with the weather warming up. With 5 or more runs scored in each of the last 6 games and 12 of the last 14, the bats have woken up and are now producing at the level fans hoped for entering this year. The bottom of the order is beginning to step up and contribute which makes them far tougher to deal with. Having Alec Bohm in his current form is also a luxury as he has entered the cleanup spot and is producing at an elite level. Today their offense gets a matchup against Patrick Sandoval, the 2nd consecutive southpaw they will see after facing Tyler Anderson last night.

I often bet against Sandoval as he struggles with efficiency and his results are often middling or poor. The southpaw clearly has talent but struggles to put it together consistently, especially against good lineups. Sandoval’s last start was his first this season without issuing multiple free passes, but he instead allowed 9 hits including a home run to a worse Twins offense. His start prior resulted in 6 hits, 5 walks, and 7 earned runs allowed against the Reds. Now facing a patient lineup that draws walks and hits for power, I am not a fan of Sandoval’s matchup today.

Zack Wheeler is the other part of this play. The Phillies ace is in elite form, as he usually is, entering this game off back-to-back scoreless outings that spanned a combined 13.1 innings. With 8 or more strikeouts in 3 straight games and 4 of his last 5, Wheeler enters this matchup near the top of his game. On the season, he sits in the 80th percentile or greater in GB%, xBA, average exit velocity, whiff rate, chase rate and numerous other important metrics that help pitchers prevent runs. He draws an Angels offense that is without Mike Trout and already had the 6th-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. I expect a Phillies win across the full game but would rather isolate the starting pitching edge for Philadelphia and avoid these 2 struggling bullpens.

Read our full Philadelphia Phillies vs Los Angeles Angels predictions

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