Phillies Battle Brewers in Labor Day Special
With one team cruising to a division title and the other team fighting to reach the top of its division, the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers begin a three-game series with a Labor Day matinee.
Looking at the betting odds over at BetUS, the Brewers are favored at home with a moneyline of -133, while Philadelphia’s moneyline is set at +123. The game also features an over/under betting line of seven runs.
At this point, there’s probably nothing that can stop the Brewers from winning the NL Central. After winning back-to-back games to take a weekend series from the Cardinals, Milwaukee is now 30 games over .500. More importantly, they hold an 11-game lead in the NL Central with a magic number of 14 to clinch the division.
Meanwhile, the red-hot Phillies are still playing catch-up in the NL East. The Phillies have won seven of their last nine games, which has coincided with the Braves hitting a slump. However, the Phillies are still two games behind Atlanta in the NL East and 2.5 games out in the Wild Card race.
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At the Wheel
Zack Wheeler gets the start for the Phillies on Monday, as he tries to make a late push for the Cy Young. On the season, Wheeler is 11-9 with a 3.01 ERA over his 27 starts while already eclipsing 200 strikeouts.
However, Wheeler’s season has hit plenty of speed bumps lately, as he’s given up at least four runs in five of his last six starts despite pitching at least six innings in each of those starts.
The Brewers won’t be an easy team for Wheeler to face with Milwaukee’s lineup starting to come out of a mini-slump. The key for the Brewers lately has been Christian Yelich coming on strong late in the season to help the middle of their order. Lorenzo Cain, Luis Urias, and Willy Adames have also come on strong lately, in addition to Omar Narvaez and Avisail Garcia being reliable all season, giving the Brew Crew plenty of depth.
The Brewers will counter Wheeler with Brandon Woodruff, who is also a serious Cy Young candidate this year. Over his 26 starts, Woodruff is 8-7 with a 2.35 ERA and a WHIP of 0.94. Unlike Wheeler, Woodruff showed no signs of slowing down in August, going 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA over his last five starts.
As for the Phillies, they have started to slow down offensively, scoring just nine runs during their three-game weekend series in Miami. That came after a stretch of seven straight games with at least seven runs. The good news is that Bryce Harper has been unstoppable for most of the year, while and are also coming on strong early in September.
Play the Hot Hand
The Phillies are surely more desperate to get a win in this game, although Wheeler’s recent track record indicates that will be an uphill battle. With Woodruff on the mound for Milwaukee, it’ll be a struggle for Wheeler to give the Phillies the better starter in this game, which will be tough for them to overcome. It looks like the best MLB pick for this match is a bet on the Brewers as home favorites to win on Labor Day.
Meanwhile, this game is a good opportunity for bettors to take advantage of a low over/under. With Wheeler giving up at least four runs in five of his last six starts, the over/under of seven runs is far too low, especially given the firepower that both lineups have. Even with Woodruff on the mound, the Phillies won’t be silent for nine innings, so take the over in this game.