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The first half of the MLB season has concluded, and it’s time for the push to the playoffs. The Phillies are positioned well to secure a Wild Card spot in the National League at 48-41. After a slow start, the team has come along which is a similar narrative to what we saw last season.
The Padres are on the opposite end of the spectrum with their 43-47 record, which puts them in fourth in the National League West. San Diego is a talented team, but they consistently underperformed through the first 90 games. Their comeback must occur quickly in the second half before it’s too late. The first pitch on Friday from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET and can be seen nationally on mlb.TV.
The odds for the game are still not out, but check out our MLB betting sites page to discover some betting opportunities!
In the past when Yu Darvish has taken the mound, the Padres have been in a great position to win baseball games. Although, this is no longer the case in 2023, as the pitcher has been all over the place with his ERA approaching five. He’ll throw against Christopher Sanchez, who has been very effective for the Phillies. The young wing knows how to manipulate his opponents and we should see this once again on Friday. If Philadelphia continues to hit as they have in the ladder portion of the first half, they should prevail on Friday at home.
Darvish’s development in the second half will be crucial for the Padres if the team wants to make a run towards the postseason. There hasn’t been a lot of players who have stepped up consistently for the Padres throughout the year. Darvish is a pitcher who has been a sub-three ERA player, and he has a 4.87 record in 2023 with a 1.27 WHIP. Over 85 innings, he has allowed 80 hits, but he has struggled with walks and homers. This is one of the biggest reasons he is 5-6 in 2023. The wing has allowed 28 walks and 11 homers this year, which isn’t ace numbers in the big leagues.
The Padres pitching hasn’t been lights out, and this has been combined with a stagnant offense. Fernando Tatis Jr. is leading the team in homers with 16 on the season. He is also the team leader in batting average at .288. This is a tremendous average, but the Padres have multiple players that should be in this sub-.300 range, and we just didn’t see it in the first half. This needs to change, but they will have difficulty finding any offense against Sanchez.
The pitcher has a 2.84 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP in 25.1 innings. Sanchez has made mistakes, but he limits his walks, which makes these mistakes less hurtful for his team. We expect the young pitcher to continue getting better in 2023, and it starts with a dominant performance on Friday. Take the Phillies on the moneyline for a very fair price at home.
San Diego garnered some momentum heading into the All-Star break, winning four of their final five games. This included a series win against the Angels and Mets. Their one loss came in extra innings against New York in the tenth inning. Although, these two series were in Petco Park in San Diego where the Padres have been much better than on the road. San Diego is
just 18-24 on the road, which won’t equate to success in the standings.
The Padres have shown signs of power, but they’ve struggled to put the ball in play. There are a lot of home-run hitters on this roster, which tends to mean more swing-and-miss. San Diego has ten more homers this season than Philadelphia, but they have 98 less hits. Look for the Padres to change their approach in the second half to get more men on base. This will help their solo homers because of multi-run blasts.
The Phillies took a hot streak in the second half of the 2022 season all the way to the World Series. Philadelphia has gotten better all year, but it doesn’t look like they have the team to beat the Braves or Dodgers in a seven-game series. Although, anything can happen in the playoffs. The Phillies have gotten contributions from a ton of players, including Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos.
Schwarber leads the team in home runs with 22 on the season. His batting average is sub-.200, but his OBP has been stellar considering this stat. Castellanos has been the best overall hitter for the team with a .301 average and a .344 OBP. He represented the Phillies in the All-Star Game, and we like him to continue building on his great first half.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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