MLB PREVIEW * SUNDAY JUNE 4, 2018 SHOWCASE: PHILLIES JAKE ARRIETA

PHILS HOPE ACE ARRIETA CAN AVOID 3 GAME SWEET AT THE BAY TODAY!

This Off season the Phillies brought in two big free agents to help their rebuild and recoup the fire again in it’s fan base. One of the two was Pitcher Jake Arrieta, who cost a ton and had some huge red flags over possible health concerns.

Well so far the return on investment has been A+ as Jake has looked solid all season for the most part and he is coming into today’s game with a scoreless back to back stints. He’s given the Phils a nice boost to count on every fifth day.

His last two starts, both wins, he’s gone a combined (13.2) innings, allowing (13) hits but no earned runs, with (12)K’s and (3) walks. His fastball is averaging 92 mph so he’s not overpowering many hitters, but his contact rate so far has him in leaders in MLB of weakest contact. He has thrown high number pitches (103, 109 last two starts) but not going overly deep into games. His prior 3 starts to those last 2 he’s only allowed 2, 1, and 0 earned runs, making him one of the best in MLB for the month of May (0.90 ERA).

Today he and the Phillies face the SF Giants, who have won these first two of this 3 game set, keeping the Phillies bat completely silent, allowing 0 runs at all. The Giants will give a newcomer to the staff Dereck Rodriguez a shot at a starting spot. He came up Tuesday and threw 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing 4 runs, but only 1 earned. This will be his first major league start.

LAS VEGAS ODDS: PHILLIES (ARRIETA) (-$121) vs. *SF GIANTS (RODRIGUEZ) *            TOTAL RUNS: (8)

GARY’S FINAL PITCH:

The Phillies have played much better then expected in the first 2 months of action. The Giants started slow but have played well of late. The Phillies have an Ace now in Aaron Nola, so if Arrieta keeps giving solid starts, they can easily keep away from bad losing streaks and stay in the Playoff chase for the entire season. A few years ago Arrieta was nearly unhittable. Right now he gives uo hits, but he’s gotten big outs when he’s needed them and helped the team win. Opposing hitters are getting very little hard contact on him as he’s mixing his pitches well, and his sinker has been strong.

For betting purposes the line value is with Arrieta here, especially over a guy making his first ever start, who likely won’t go more then 5 innings. But the problem betting Phillies here is the teams bats are ice cold and may not break out now on end of long West Coast road trip. If you bet the Giants you are banking on a solid 4 innings (at least) from their Bullpen.

I would expect Arrieta to stay in a good groove today as Giants bats now overpowering anyone so far this year. Jake has also held the Giants 3 veteran bats in check over his career. SF Buster Posey is batting (0.67) over 15 at bats vs. Arrieta lifetime, Andrew McCutcheon is hitting only (.213) in 47 at bats and Hunter Pence is hitting only (.182) in 11 at bats.

The Phillies could use a deep game out of Jake here today and help send them home with a win and an avoidance of a bad sweep by the Bay.

Have a great Sunday and enjoy the game and may all your wagers be Winning ones.

LAS VEGAS SPORTS HANDICAPPER GARY GREENE 

@VEGASGARYGREENE