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Phillies 2020 Betting Preview: Can Girardi lead Philadelphia to 32 wins?

July 16, 2020 01:10 AM

A little over a decade ago, the Phillies were on top of the world. From 2007 to 2011, Philadelphia was a perennial contender, making the playoffs five consecutive seasons and reaching the Fall Classic twice. The pinnacle came in 2008 when the Phillies beat the Rays in five games to win their first World Series title since 1980.

Unfortunately, it has been all downhill ever since. 

Last season, Philadelphia went 81-81, finishing 16 games back of the Braves in the NL East and 8 games back in the Wild Card. It marked the 8th straight season that the Phillies missed the postseason. Believe it or not, Philadelphia hasn't had a single winning season since 2011. (It has gone 81-81 twice.)

Fed up with missing the playoffs, the Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler (161-163, .497 in two seasons). In his place, Philadelphia brought in former Yankees manager Joe Girardi. From 2008 to 2017, Girardi went 910-710 (.562) in New York, leading the Yankees to a World Series victory in 2009 over, you guessed it, the Phillies. 

Aside from bringing in Girardi, the Phillies also shelled out big money to improve their starting rotation, signing former Mets starter Zach Wheeler (11-8. 3.96 ERA in 2019) to a 5-year, $118 million deal. The Phils also inked former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious to a 1-year, $14 million deal. Philadelphia's only notable losses this offseason were infielders Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco. 

The Phillies will lean on their deep and balanced offensive lineup in 2020, which features one of the top power hitting 3-4 combos in baseball with Bryce Harper (.260, 35 homers, 114 RBIs) and Rhys Hoskins (.226, 29 homers, 85 RBIs). 

1. Andrew McCutchen OF

2. J.T. Realmuto C

3. Bryce Harper OF

4. Rhys Hoskins 1B

5. Didi Gregorious SS

6. Jean Segura 2B

7. Scott Kingery 3B

8. Jay Bruce DH

9. Adam Haseley OF

With Wheeler teaming up with Nola (12-7, 3.87 ERA), Philadelphia now has a formidable 1-2 punch at the front of their rotation. The backend of the rotation is the bigger question mark. 

1. Aaron Nola

2. Zack Wheeler

3. Jake Arrieta

4. Vince Velasquez

5. Zach Eflin

The bullpen is led by closer Hector Neris (2.93 ERA, 28 saves) and setup men Adam Morgan and Jose Alvarez.  

At BetMGM, the Phillies' win total is 31.5. This translates to 85.1 wins based on a 162-game schedule. The juice on the win total is -110 both sides. This signals relatively equal action on both the over and under without a clear wiseguy preference.

If you're looking for a lean, FanGraphs, one of the most respected sites for advanced baseball analytics, projects Philadelphia to go 30-30. This represents a 1.5-game edge to the under. 

The Phillies aren't expected to snap their long postseason drought. Philadelphia is a -278 favorite to miss the playoffs and a + 220 dog to make the playoffs. This translates to a 73.5% implied probability that the Phillies miss the postseason. 

Philadelphia is tied with the Mets for the 3rd-best odds to win the NL East at + 325. The Braves are the favorite at + 180 followed by the Nationals + 240. The Marlins are a distant + 15000 afterthought.

The Phillies are + 1200 to win the National League, tied with the Cubs, Reds, Cardinals and Mets for the 4th-best odds. The Dodgers are the favorite at + 145, followed by the Braves + 700 and Nats + 1000. 

Philadelphia is + 2500 to win the World Series.

In terms of player props and futures, Harper is + 2000 to win NL MVP, tied with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr for the 7th best odds overall. Hoskins is + 8000. 

Harper's over/under home runs is 15.5 (over -105, under -125). His over/under batting average is .260 (-115 both sides) and RBIs 35.5 (-115 both sides).

Hoskins' over/under home runs is 12.5 (over -105, under -125). His over/under batting average is .240 (-115 both sides) and RBIs 29.5 (over -110, under -120). 

Realmuto's over/under home runs is 9.5 (over -120, under -110). His over/under batting average is .275 (-115 both sides) and RBIs 26.5 (over -125, under -105).

Segura is + 1100 to lead the NL in hits. 

Aaron Nola is + 2500 to win the NL Cy Young. Wheeler is + 5000. 

Nola has the 6th best odds to lead the NL in strikeouts at + 1100. Wheeler is + 3500. Nola is + 2000 to lead the NL in wins. Wheeler is + 2500. 

Nola's over/under wins is 5.5 (over -105, under -125) and strikeouts 78.5 (-115 both sides). 

Wheeler's over/under wins is 4.5 (over -110, under -120) and strikeouts 70.5 (-115 both sides). 

Hector Neris is + 1200 to lead the NL in saves. 

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