Psst. New Jersey online sports bettors, are you ready? The New York Yankees invade Citizens Bank Park Saturday and Sunday to play the Philadelphia Phillies.

The weekend series includes a rare Friday off day for both teams.

But the park will be close to sold out for both afternoon games. That’s what the Phillies versus Yankees means.

And there are NJ sports betting angles galore greeting Garden State gamblers. 

Phillies-Yankees pitching matchups

The weather is warming up. But what about the bats?

Vince Velasquez and Aaron Nola are the two starters slated to pitch for the Phillies.  That always can change because manager Joe Girardi is playing the cat-and-mouse game of not tipping his lineup hand. The Phillies broadcast team hinted at some unexpected news in this area on Thursday.

After Velasquez posted a 2.30 ERA in his first six starts, he has an 11.57 ERA in his last two, allowing nine runs in just seven innings. The Phillies hope it is nothing more than a temporary problem. The second time through the order appears to be a problem for Velasquez, when he’s pitch-count heavy early in the game.

The Yankees have listed Jameson Taillon as Saturday’s hurler. 

He comes off a no-decision against the Red Sox in which he allowed three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. Taillon has pitched to a 3.52 ERA over his past three starts, spanning 15 1/3 innings.

Aaron Nola takes the bump Sunday for the Phillies. His 4.06 ERA after 13 starts is his slowest start since 2019 when he had a 4.63 ERA after that number of starts.  Nola has a 4.97 ERA in nine starts since throwing a shutout in April.

Location has been a problem. In Tuesday’s outing against the Atlanta Braves, he gave up four runs in five-plus innings. Nola surrendered two homers on pitches right down the middle. He yielded two run-scoring hits on breaking pitches that were left up. Nola needs to catch less of the plate

Domingo German is listed as New York’s Sunday starter. Germán has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his past nine outings and in 10 of his 11 starts this season. Last time out, he tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Red Sox.

Both matchups give a lean to the offenses, which are in a small groove right now. We’ll see if it plays out that way

Phillies winning late in games

Both teams, who had recently sputtered, showed signs of life in the past week.

The Phillies notched back-to-back series wins versus the Washington Nationals and  Braves. They also earned two emotionally lifting walk-off victories over the Braves in less than 24 hours.

But will that momentum carry over?

In both cases what looked like a looming defeat into victory.

First, there was Luke Williams’ unexpected two-out, two-run dinger that helped the Phillies shock the Braves Wednesday night.

Thursday afternoon, they trailed 3-1 entering the home 10th before scoring three times. Jean Segura led the comeback with a double off the top of the wall that knocked in the tying and winning runs. 

(Had it gone out, the over 7.5 bettors would have been rewarded. As it was, the moneyline came through for Philadelphia.

 Phillies versus Nationals and Braves

The return of Bryce Harper, who had missed 11 games with a wrist injury, brings respectability back to the heart of the lineup.

He was in the middle of a seven-run rally when the Phillies beat the Nationals last Sunday.

Two nights later, he homered and the Phillies rebounded from an early deficit to lead the Braves late in the game. But two muffed eighth-inning ground balls led to a five-run inning and 9-5 Atlanta victory.

Were the Phillies deflated?

Yes.

At least until the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s game. 

Williams, a relative unknown, was just promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, getting his first taste of the majors.

And it’s a night he will likely never forget.

Two outs in the ninth. Phillies trailing 1-0.

But the chances of Williams hitting a dinger seemed highly unlikely. He had not hit a homer in an affiliated game since August 23, 2019, for Double-A Reading.

Roll the Hollywood script. He drilled a two-run homer and the Phillies had the victory nobody saw coming.

The following afternoon, Alec Bohm and Odubel Herrera notched opposite field hits to set up Segura’s game-winner. Herrera is suddenly looking reliable in clutch situations as a leadoff hitter.

What happens now? 

When the Phillies look buried, they rise. When they look ready to make a move, they fall.

That’s exactly how the books projected them in the 80 to 82-win range.

On the injury front, shortstop Didi Gregorius, who hasn’t played since May 12, began a rehab assignment. He is slated to return next week, although some rumors have him being activated in time for the Yankee series

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Recapping Yankees recent performance

The Yankees, who were swept at home by the Boston Red Sox last weekend, found a tonic in the Minnesota Twins

But not an entire cure.

Their bats are waking up. In their 9-6 triumph over the Twins Wednesday, the Yankees won a game for the first time this season after allowing five or more runs.

The Yankees were slated for 95-96 wins by major NJ online sportsbooks like DraftKings, William Hill, and BetMGM. Their colossal under-achievement presents a betting opportunity via individual games for gamblers who believe a major rebound is coming.

But the Yankees just blew an imminent sweep against the Twins. 

Aroldis Chapman entered the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead and here’s what happened: single, homer, single, homer, a 7-5 loss. (You thought the Phillies bullpen was ugly on Thursday, giving up two 10th-inning runs on no hits, but Chapman “downstaged” them).

These aren’t the same Yankees, and they are vulnerable.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

 

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.