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Against Cy Young favorite, is there any value on the Phillies?

Sandy Alcantara might be the Cy Young favorite, but the underdog Phillies have some value Tuesday night in Miami.

Sandy Alcantara is the betting favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Sandy Alcantara is the betting favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)Read moreDaniel Shirey / Getty Images

Just 22 games remain on the schedule for the Philadelphia Phillies, and they enter this final stretch run clear of the Milwaukee Brewers by four games in the loss column for the final playoff spot in the National League. But after playing 19 straight against teams that won’t be playing postseason baseball, 12 of the last 22 come against teams currently in a playoff position.

Miami, however, is not one of those teams. And the Phillies will be trying to take a three-game series vs. the Marlins before playing the Atlanta Braves in seven of their next nine (with a two-game set vs. Toronto sandwiched in the middle). A sweep in Miami, of course, would be ideal, but Tuesday night’s series opener comes against NL Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara.

Where should bettors look for value Tuesday night in Florida?

Odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are reflective of the time of writing.

Marlins vs. Phillies MLB odds

Moneyline: MIA (-130) vs. PHI (+110)

Run line: MIA -1.5 (+162) vs. PHI +1.5 (-195)

Total: Over 7 (-120) | Under 7 (+100)

Probable pitchers and analysis

MIA Sandy Alcantara (12-7, 2.43 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) vs. PHI Bailey Falter (4-3, 4.02 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

There’s a reason why Alcantara is the favorite to take home the NL Cy Young Award. The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who just turned 27 last week, is having the best season he’s had in five years in the Major Leagues. Alcantara brings a 98 mph fastball and uses his four-pitch arsenal (changeup, sinker, slider) pretty evenly. He’s enjoying career-best numbers in ERA, FIP and WHIP. Opposing batters are earning fewer hits and hitting fewer homers off of Alcantara than any other season of his career.

Pretty scary for Phillies fans, right?

Well, by now avid followers know all about Alcantara, as Tuesday night will be the sixth time the Phillies face him in 2022. And they have had a fair amount of success, especially recently. Thursday night in Philadelphia, the Phillies came from behind and tagged Alcantara for five runs (three earned) on eight hits. That followed an Aug. 10 game in which the Phillies rallied late on the Miami starter and scored four runs on eight hits across 7 2/3 innings.

The Phillies, making a playoff push, should be more comfortable than ever Tuesday night vs. Alcantara in Miami, where the Marlins continue playing out the string on a losing season. The Marlins have lost 12 of their last 15.

Alcantara has also been far from perfect of late. Over his last four starts, he has surrendered 16 earned runs and was tagged for three home runs (a season-high) Sept. 2 vs. Atlanta. To be fair, that stretch also included a complete-game, one-run, 10-strikeout win vs. the Dodgers. All told, his ERA climbed from 1.92 on Aug. 15 to 2.43 heading into Tuesday night.

» READ MORE: Eagles now commanding betting favorites in NFC East after Dak Prescott injury

It’s a small sample size, but Alcantara is slowing down. Opposing hitters are cumulatively hitting the ball harder over his last few starts than they have all season. Plus, the struggles here at the end of the season line up with 2021, when Alcantara was tagged with 16 earned runs over his final four starts. He finished 2021 with a career-high 205 2/3 innings pitched, and enters Tuesday night at 196 2/3.

Falter, meanwhile, is coming into a groove for the Phillies. The lefty has allowed just nine earned runs over his last 24 1/3 innings pitched. The Phillies have won all five of those starts, including a 4-3 win last Wednesday vs. the Marlins. Miami scored two runs on seven hits that night off of the 25-year-old Falter, who has been asked to fill an important role in Philadelphia’s rotation while the Phillies deal with injuries to their pitching staff.

The Phillies have a lot to play for, the Marlins don’t. Sometimes that means nothing. But there is reason to like Philadelphia as a slight underdog Tuesday night in Miami.


Phillies ML +110

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