MLB Sunday Night Baseball Preview: Phillies vs. Rangers odds, predictions and best bets
On Sunday, April 2nd, the Texas Rangers host the Philadelphia Phillies in the first Sunday Night Baseball matchup of the 2023 MLB season. In addition to giving out best bets and player props this year, we’ll also regularly be diving into MLB’s Sunday night game of the week. We know there will be a lot of eyeballs on these matchups, and we want to make sure you know what you’re getting into in these games. So, keep reading to see how we’re playing this one!
MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on April 2
Phillies vs. Rangers betting odds
Rangers -125 / Total: 8.5
For updated odds, check out our VSiN MLB Odds page!
Phillies vs. Rangers Side Analysis
The Rangers are small home favorites in this meeting with the Phillies, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. For starters, Texas has won the first two games in this series, and the Rangers scored 27 runs in those victories. Now, this red-hot Texas offense gets a crack Bailey Falter, who was 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA last season. Falter was much better on the road than he was at home last year, so he has that working for him heading into this game. But this Texas team hits lefties hard.
Last season, the Rangers scored the fifth-most runs in the league against southpaws, and there also a few other categories that showed how much damage Texas can do against lefties. Last year, the Rangers were fifth in the league in wRC and fourth in ISO against left-handed pitching. With that in mind, the Rangers bats are always going to be a threat to give lefties trouble out there. And that’s especially true of guys like Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe. Semien struggled against lefties last year, but his career batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage are all higher against southpaws. And Lowe, despite hitting from the left side of the plate, has crushed them over the last two years.
Texas also happens to be sending Martin Perez to the hill in this one, and he was superb in 2022. Perez went 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA last season, and his 5.0 WAR was the highest of his career, by far. Perez also did some of his best work in night games last year, as he had a 2.42 ERA in 17 evening starts last season. And the lefty had no trouble in his pair of outings against the Phillies last season, as he threw 13.0 innings of scoreless ball against them — which is somewhat surprising considering Philadelphia hits lefties rather hard.
All in all, there just is a lot to like about this matchup for Texas, and you’re getting a decent price on them on the moneyline.
Phillies vs. Rangers Total Analysis
While there are reasons to believe the Rangers bats will give Falter some problems in this one, it’s a little hard to see him getting lit up in this game. After all, Falter had a 2.42 ERA when pitching outside of Citizens Bank Park last year. With that said, the Rangers might look like the team that is more likely to score runs, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to score enough for the over to hit.
The Rangers can easily win this game by scoring four or so runs, which would give the under a decent shot of cashing with Perez on the bump. The under hit in each of his two starts against the Phillies last season, so it makes sense to expect another low-scoring game here.
The under is also 20-8 when Philadelphia is coming off a game in which its bullpen gave up five or more runs since the start of the 2021 season. That means you can probably count on Rob Thomson to manage a better game as we get late into this one — and Falter will likely hurl some more productive innings than Zack Wheeler did yesterday.
Phillies vs. Rangers Best Bet
The best play you can probably make in this game is to just back the home team on the moneyline. The Rangers have the better starting pitcher going in this one, and Texas’ hitters will like seeing a lefty on the mound. When you combine that with the fact that the Rangers are playing at home, it’s best not to overthink this.
Pick: Rangers ML (-125)
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