MLB Monday Night Baseball Best Bet Picks and Parlay: Phillies vs. Braves Showdown

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In Monday night’s MLB action, the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves. Let’s analyze the game, including run line picks, game totals, and player prop bets.

Run Line MLB Pick: PHI Phillies +1.5 (-165)

The Philadelphia Phillies delivered a stunning performance in Game 1 against the Atlanta Braves, defeating Spencer Strider and the Braves. What’s even more remarkable is that the Phillies, led by Ranger Suárez and their bullpen, kept the Braves scoreless for nine innings. This marked the first time all season that the Braves failed to score a run in a home game. The Phillies achieved this without their ace, making it even more impressive.

Now, in Game 2, Zack Wheeler returns to the mound with five days of rest. Wheeler’s postseason outing against the Marlins in the Wild Card round was exceptional, allowing just 1 run and 5 hits in 6.2 innings. Facing a divisional rival, the Braves, in the playoffs is not new for Wheeler. In three regular-season matchups against the Braves, he allowed 7 runs, 13 hits, and 4 home runs in 19 innings.

Max Fried, while an excellent pitcher when healthy, had a challenging season due to injuries. He missed significant time due to injuries, including a blister on his throwing hand that sidelined him for the end of the regular season. It remains to be seen how much the blister has healed and how it will impact his performance. In a healthy state, Fried has had success against the Phillies in his career, and in his one start against them this season, he allowed just 1 run and 4 hits over 5 innings. While this matchup presents a tough choice, leaning towards the Phillies +1.5 run line seems like a reasonable choice.

(Note: Phillies +1.5 (-165) available at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.)

Game Totals MLB Pick: Under 8.0 (-105)

Predicting a side for Game 2 might be challenging, but the over/under is more straightforward. A pitching duel between Zack Wheeler and Max Fried suggests a close-scoring game. Wheeler finished the regular season strongly and continued his excellent form in the Wild Card round. He has been one of the few pitchers to effectively handle the Braves’ lineup. Key hitters like Ronald Acuña Jr., Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Ozzie Albies have struggled against Wheeler, collectively hitting .233 with 39 strikeouts in 150 at-bats. Even beyond the core lineup, Marcell Ozuna, Orlando Arcia, Eddie Rosario, and Michael Harris have had limited success against Wheeler.

The benefit of Spencer Strider’s seven-inning performance in Game 1 was that it saved the bullpen’s workload. With both teams having a day off on Sunday, the Atlanta bullpen is well-rested. This means that if the Phillies start to mount a rally against Fried, Braves manager Brian Snitker won’t hesitate to make a change. The Braves are in a must-win situation as they can’t afford to go down 2-0 in a best-of-five series, making it likely that they’ll rely on their rested bullpen. Anticipate a similar score to Game 1, making the under 8.0 an attractive bet.

(Note: Under 8 (-105) available at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.)

MLB Player Prop Bet: Zack Wheeler Under 1.5 Walks (-119)

Zack Wheeler’s postseason track record is impressive, with a 2.55 ERA in seven career playoff starts. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of those starts. Wheeler’s command has been a strong suit, as he has walked fewer than two batters in a game in six out of seven postseason starts. Facing the Braves, Wheeler has an opportunity to maintain this trend.

The Braves’ top hitters, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna, and others, have struggled to draw walks against Wheeler throughout their careers. Wheeler’s 5.0 BB% ranks in the top 7% of the league, and he has consistently stayed under the 1.5 walks line in the regular season, doing so in 24 of 33 starts. Given the days off between games, Wheeler is likely to have a shorter leash than usual, especially against the formidable Braves lineup. Expect Wheeler to minimize walks in this pivotal matchup.

(Note: Odds are subject to change.)

YRFI/NRFI Best MLB Bets: Bobby Miller Sets the Tone

In the MLB Divisional Series, both NLDS series are in full swing, with underdogs pulling off small upsets in the American League. Betting on whether a run will be scored in the first inning remains an intriguing option. Let’s explore YRFI/NRFI (Yes Run First Inning/No Run First Inning) best bets for Monday’s postseason matchups.

MLB Same Game Parlay: Phillies vs. Braves – A Battle of Aces

In this pivotal Game 2 between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves, both teams are feeling the pressure. The Braves, after a surprising Game 1 loss, are in a desperate situation to secure a win before the series shifts to Philadelphia. Here’s a Same Game Parlay that offers enticing +513 odds, making it an attractive option for tonight’s action.

MLB Pick: No Run First Inning (-115)

Monday night’s matchup in Atlanta features a showdown of aces on the mound, and it’s not just the game that’s expected to be low-scoring – I’m also anticipating a scoreless first frame. Both Zack Wheeler and Max Fried were among the best pitchers in the National League during the regular season, particularly in the first inning. Wheeler, in his 32 regular-season starts, boasted a 2.81 ERA with an impressive 33.9% strikeout rate in the opening inning. He limited hitters to a mere .186 batting average and a meager .224 on-base percentage during this period, showcasing his consistent success. Additionally, Wheeler threw a scoreless first inning in two out of his three regular-season starts against the Braves.

As for Max Fried, the word that comes to mind regarding his first-inning performance is “dominant.” When healthy this season, Fried was arguably the best pitcher in baseball in terms of No Run First Inning (NRFI) outings. In 14 starts, he allowed a first-inning run only once, resulting in an impressive 0.64 ERA in the first inning during the regular season. Fried also held opposing hitters to a mere .167 batting average, a .200 on-base percentage, and a paltry .367 OPS in the first inning. Atlanta’s ace shines brightest in the opening inning, and with both Wheeler and Fried on the mound, expect a quick start to Game 2.

(Note: NRFI odds are subject to change.)

MLB Pick: Alternate Total Under 6.5 (+190)

The game total of 8 appears to be too high for this highly anticipated Wheeler vs. Fried pitching duel. Wheeler concluded the regular season with strong performances and continued to impress in the wild-card round. Moreover, he has been one of the few pitchers to effectively handle the Braves’ lineup this season. When facing key Braves hitters like Ronald Acuña Jr., Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Ozzie Albies, Wheeler has held them to a collective .233 batting average with 39 strikeouts in 150 at-bats. Even beyond the core lineup, hitters like Marcell Ozuna, Orlando Arcia, Eddie Rosario, and Michael Harris have struggled against Wheeler.

Another factor to consider is that Spencer Strider’s seven-inning performance in Game 1, despite the loss, saved the bullpen from excessive work. Only three relievers were used after Strider’s exit, and no pitcher threw more than 15 pitches. With both teams enjoying a day off on Sunday, the Atlanta bullpen is well-rested. This means that as soon as Braves manager Brian Snitker senses the Phillies rallying against Fried, he won’t hesitate to replace his ace. Atlanta has reached a critical point in the series, making Game 2 a must-win as they cannot afford to go to Philadelphia trailing 2-0 in a best-of-five series. Expect a similar score to Game 1, making the under 6.5 an intriguing option.

(Note: Alternate total odds are subject to change.)

MLB Pick: Ronald Acuña Jr. to Record a Hit (-270)

In Game 1, Atlanta’s leadoff hitter, Ronald Acuña Jr., had a relatively quiet postseason outing. However, there’s no cause for concern going forward. Acuña Jr., soon to be crowned NL MVP, played a pivotal role in the Braves’ regular-season offensive success. His underwhelming Game 1 performance against Ranger Suárez shouldn’t set the tone for the rest of the series.

Furthermore, Acuña Jr. has a favorable history against Zack Wheeler. In his career, he boasts a 16-for-42 record against Wheeler, translating to a .261 batting average. While that might not seem overly impressive, it’s crucial to note that eight of those 16 hits were for extra bases. Digging deeper into advanced metrics, Acuña Jr. has a .274 expected batting average (xBA) against Wheeler, which is the highest among Atlanta’s lineup. With a propensity for hitting the ball hard, Acuña Jr. has a solid chance of recording at least one hit, especially if he gets four at-bats.

(Note: Odds for player props are subject to change.)

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