Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds
MLB Betting Pick: Philly +157 odds (April 4th 2016)
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I know it’s a ‘hold your breath’, ‘cross your fingers’, type of situation when backing the Phillies, but at this price, I think there is definite value with them catching this number.
This is more of a play against the Reds as they send Raisel Iglesias to the mound for his first Opening Day Start, that should be accompanied by a case of the jitters as this is only his second year in the Big Leagues. Last year, the Reds went 5-13 in his 18 appearances, winning only 27% of them. He was 1-5 in day starts and today’s game is played in the afternoon. While he can strikeout batter’s out, he still has velocity issues and has a high home run rate. Iglesias only pitched 6 innings in Spring Training and gave up a home run and he gave up 7 hits in those 6 innings.
For the Phillies, they will send out Jeremy Hellickson who has experience in the American League facing some of the toughest lineups facing the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox as he pitched for Tampa Bay. Facing a weak Cincinnati lineup should be a sigh of relief on this Opening Day start for Hellickson who got plenty of work in Spring going 16.1 innings with a 1.04 WHIP, only giving up 10 hits while striking out 20.
The Phillies will have the hottest hitter coming out of Spring in M. Franco in the lineup who belted nine home runs.
Iglesias is working on a pitching count of around 90 pitches. I look for the Phillies to work him and he should be pulled by the 5th or 6th inning. The Reds bullpen can’t be trusted and they got rid of closer Chapman in the offseason.
Again, this is more of a play against the Reds than anything, but I think the price is right with the Phillies facing a pitcher that has not yet been established.
1* Philadelphia Phillies