- It’s the Phillies vs Pirates on Thursday
- This is the first of a four-game set
- The odds, preview, and betting prediction can be found below
Thursday marks the beginning of a four-game set between the Philadelphia Phillies (51-47, 26-25 away) and Pittsburgh Pirates (40-58, 21-25 home) at PNC Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET.
The visitors will hand Zack Wheeler the ball here, their ace this season. The Bucs counter with big righty Zach Thompson.
Phillies vs Pirates Odds
|Philadelphia Phillies||-210||-1.5 (-120)||Ov 7.5 (-115)|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||+175||+1.5 (+100)||Un 7.5 (-105)|
Odds as of July 27th at Caesars.
The Phillies are a heavy -210 favorite for the series opener. They’ve dominated this matchup, winning four of their last five meetings with Pittsburgh.
Phillies vs Pirates Probable Pitchers
Philly wouldn’t want anyone else on the mound right now. Wheeler is in the midst of a fantastic campaign and even sits at +1800 in NL Cy Young odds. The 32-year-old is 8-5 with a stellar 2.78 ERA in 18 starts in 2022, striking out 114 in 106.2 innings while allowing a mere 21 free passes. With the exception of a forgettable outing against the Blue Jays earlier this month, Wheeler has been dominant.
Zack Wheeler, Dirty 88mph Slider. 😨 pic.twitter.com/DL3jDGDU5K
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 23, 2022
On July 23rd, Wheeler held the Cubbies to three hits and one run in seven quality innings. He also struck out six and didn’t walk a single batter. This is his first start against the Pirates this season, but Wheeler owns a career 2.22 ERA. All signs point to him carving them up again.
Wheeler vs Thompson Stats
Thompson had a string of about 11 starts dating back to May where he pitched really well. That finally ended last time out though as he was tagged for seven earned runs by the Marlins. Nonetheless, Thompson still managed to last 5.1 innings.
#Pirates Zach Thompson – 2.62 ERA in his last 11 starts, 7th-lowest ERA in N.L. since May 8
(min. 55 IP, via @StatsBySTATS)
— Joe Block (@joe_block) July 22, 2022
To be frank, though, it hasn’t been a pretty year for the 28-year-old. He’s 3-7 with a 4.64 ERA. Aside from allowing 13 homers in 17 outings, he’s also given up 32 free passes in only 75.2 innings.
Command continues to be a problem and it’s often resulted in getting hit around. He’ll need to be careful against a potent Phillies offense, which he’s faced five times before, surrendering no runs in eight innings, mostly in relief.
Philly is falling back in the NL East race, now sitting in third place with a 51-47 record. They’re 9.5 games out of first place and have struggled to win ballgame since the All-Star Break. The Phillies are just 2-5 in their last five contests and were swept by the lowly Cubs after the festivities in LA.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 27, 2022
However, Philadelphia did bounce back with a big series win vs Atlanta, taking two out of three. Alec Bohm led the way offensively on Wednesday in the 7-2 victory, going 2-4 with two RBI and two runs.
Pittsburgh Just Coming up Short
The Bucs’ 40-58 record doesn’t exactly scream contender. They’re a long way off any Wild Card spot and although Pittsburgh just lost three games straight, every single defeat was by two runs or less. Tuesday the Cubs beat them 4-2, with their only source of offense coming from shortstop O’Neill Cruz.
Cruz Missile! pic.twitter.com/MoeC6fkI7a
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 26, 2022
The phenom went deep to straight center for a two-run shot in the seventh. That was one of just four hits for the Pirates off Chicago pitching. On a more positive note, Pittsburgh tends to play a lot better at home, going 21-25 as opposed to 19-33 on the road. Their next seven games are at PNC Park.
Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh – Recent History
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Score|
Phillies vs Pirates Pick
I really have a hard time betting against Zack Wheeler. He’s in great form right now and the Phillies seem to have Pittsburgh’s number in recent matchups. Take Philly to continue their winning ways on Thursday.
Pick: Phillies -1.5 (-120)