- The Philadelphia Phillies are home favorites over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night
- The Orioles send John Means (5-7, 3.41) to the mound to face Ranger Suarez (6-4, 1.50)
- The odds and pitching matchups can be found below with a prediction
The Philadelphia Phillies (76-73; 42-32 at home) try to stay on the periphery of the National League Wild Card race when their geographic rival Baltimore Orioles (47-102; 24-51 on road) come to town at 7:05 pm ET Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Manager Joe Girardi’s club enters Monday’s tilt coming off an important series win over its NL East rival New York on the road. Philly had posted an 8-8 record in the month of September and won four straight games prior to Sunday night’s action. Meantime, Baltimore had posted a 6-11 mark for the last month of the season before Sunday’s series finale against the Red Sox, losing seven of the last eight.
Monday’s battle presents two teams going in opposite directions. That’s why it’s not surprising the Phillies are favored.
Orioles vs Phillies Odds
|Baltimore Orioles||+135||-1.5 (-160)||Over 8 (-110)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||-155||+1.5 (+140)||Under 8 (-110)|
Odds as of September 19h at DraftKings
On the mound, Baltimore’s John Means (5-7, 3.41) faces Ranger Suarez (6-4, 1.50).
11 of Means’ 23 starts in 2021 have been quality ones — including a no-hitter against Seattle May 5th. That signature 6-0 victory was part of a stretch between mid-April and mid-May that saw the former All-Star post five consecutive quality outings. But since May 15th, he’s only posted five quality starts in 15 rotation turns.
Even more concerning: the O’s are just 7-16 in games he has started and have lost eight straight games the 28-year-old started.
Means vs Suarez Key Stats
The lanky lefty has not won a decision since July 31st, going 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA over the unlucky stretch. Means went 5.2 innings against the Yankees Wednesday, allowing four hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out four in an eventual 4-3 loss. Even with the lack of recent success, Means is keeping skipper Brandon Hyde’s club in games.
John Means’ first eight starts: 1.21 ERA
The next 11: 5.63 ERA
The past four: 3.00 ERA
— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) September 16, 2021
Means is 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 12 road starts this season. In 14 night game starts, he has a 2-4 record and 3.49 ERA.
As for Suarez, the 28-year-old has been someone Girardi can count on this season, as the Phillies have posted a 21-15 mark in games in which he has appeared and a 5-4 record in his starts. Moreover, Suarez has slowly become a reliable member of Philadelphia’s rotation since becoming part of it last month.
The lefty has tossed three quality starts in his last five turns. That includes a six-inning performance Wednesday against the Cubs, allowing six hits, two earned runs a walk and striking out eight in an eventual 6-5 victory.
After not pitching in nearly 2 years, Ranger Suarez has gone from long reliever, to closer, to starting pitcher — and has excelled in every single role.
Across 84 innings, he’s pitched to a 1.50 ERA, and has yet to give up more than 3 ER across 8 starts.
He has been brilliant.
— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) September 16, 2021
Meanwhile, Suarez is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 20 home appearances (six starts) in 2021. He’s 3-3 with a 1.39 ERA in 20 night game appearances (six starts).
Fightin’ to Stay Alive
While Baltimore is the lone postseason-irrelevant member of its division, Philadelphia is one of three teams in the NL East still part of the playoff conversation. A handful of Phils have come alive in the last four games entering Sunday’s play, especially MVP candidate Bryce Harper.
The six-time All-Star has gone 8-for-15 (.533) while driving in six runs and scoring four times while the team has won four straight.
After his two-run double, Bryce Harper is slashing .315/.429/.628 with 33 home runs, 79 RBIs, a 1.057 OPS and a 6.4 fWAR.
— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) September 19, 2021
The 2015 NL MVP is hitting .375 in September prior to Sunday’s game, with seven homers and 16 RBI. Also mashing this month for Philly is Jean Segura. All the shortstop has done is hit .323 and launch four dingers while driving in ten runs so far in the last month of the regular season.
Philadelphia Phillies vs John Means
|Phillies Batters||Batting Average vs Means|
Only a pair of probable Phillies batters Monday have ever faced Means, with Didi Gregorius and Freddy Galvis going a combined 3-for-6 (.500) against the O’s. So, this is essentially the first time each team has seen each starter.
As for probable O’s hitters Monday to keep an eye one, the conversation centers around Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle. The trio have combined to smash 17 homers, 34 RBI and hit for a cumulative .255 batting average.
Orioles vs Phillies Pick
With Suarez’s ability to excel in every capacity he has been called upon this season, Philly has a clear advantage. Plus, when you factor in Harper’s recent torrid stretch, the home team feels like a bonafide bargain at its current price.
Means is a great pitcher and is finishing on a high note. But betters should fade the underdog in this spot.
The Pick: Phillies -155