Home » Back a high-scoring game between the Phillies and Padres in Friday’s series opener

Back a high-scoring game between the Phillies and Padres in Friday’s series opener

A pair of big-name starting pitchers will take the mound on Friday night in San Diego as Aaron Nola and the Phillies hit the road to face Joe Musgrove and the Padres.

The starters certainly come with name recognition, but that’s no reason to blindly back them. In fact, I’m fading the pitching and targeting the over on total runs scored.

And let’s dive in and take a look at why that’s the best bet for this game.

Phillies vs. Padres odds

  1. Money line: Phillies -120, Padres +102

  2. Run Line: Phillies -1.5 (+140), Padres +1.5 (-170)

  3. Total: Over 7.5 (-115), Under 7.5 (-105)

Phillies vs. Padres prediction

The Phillies got off to a slow start on offense this season, but they have hit the ball well over the past few weeks and have a favorable matchup here.

On the other side, Nola has thrown the ball well, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see San Diego put a couple of runs on the board.

Both offenses average more than four runs per game, and although the Padres have scored more all season, the Phillies are hitting the ball better lately.

Philadelphia has scored five or more runs in seven of its past 10 games, while the Padres have tallied 27 runs over their past five.

Obviously, if the Phillies can put up another five-spot, we’ll be in great shape. And against Musgrove, they just might.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with a 5.74 ERA through six starts and has given up three or more runs in five of those games.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Unfortunately for Musgrove and the Padres, the advanced metrics suggest those results aren’t the product of bad luck.

In fact, his xERA is a run higher (6.78) and his .318 xBA ranks in the fifth percentile. To make matters worse, Musgrove doesn’t rank above the 59th percentile in any pitching metric, according to Baseball Savant.

Meanwhile, Nola has been good, but not invincible. Philadelphia’s starter is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA through five starts, and his 3.65 xERA lines up with that.

The 30-year-old right-hander has yielded two or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts, but if the Phillies hammer Musgrove, we’ll only need a run or two from the Padres.

Also, it’s unlikely Nola will throw a complete game – something he’s done just five times in his career and not since 2022. That’s important to note because he’ll likely have to hand the ball off to Philadelphia’s bullpen, which ranks last in baseball with a 6.08 ERA.

San Diego’s bullpen is the better of the two, but still isn’t dominant. Padres relievers have pitched to a 3.75 ERA (13th) this season, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that the Phillies could tack on some runs late.

Phillies vs. Padres pick

Philadelphia clearly has the starting pitching edge and has been hitting well, but its bullpen terrifies me, so I’m shying away from backing the Phillies.

Instead, let’s lean into some of the pitching weaknesses on both sides and root for plenty of runs.

  1. Pick: Over 7.5 runs (-115 at FanDuel)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.