Phillies Betting Buzz: Is Now The Time To Panic If You’re A Phillies Fan?

It’s the Mets vs. Phillies on Friday, but a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles dampens NJ sports betting hopes for Philadelphia. View Mets-Phillies odds.

Can the Philadelphia Phillies regroup? Or is this as good as it gets?

That’s the question bettors have about this under-achieving team as the New York Mets come in for a three-game series beginning Friday night.

Jacob deGrom will pitch for New York; the starting pitcher is still in the works for Philadelphia.

This will be a watch-and-wait deal for bettors. The Phillies were in a long rain-delay at the start of Thursday’s scheduled Game 3 matchup with the Baltimore Orioles.

This will have a major effect on the moneyline at NJ online sports betting sites. Watch the betting lines after Thursday’s game.

Where the Phillies stand

The Phillies lost a home series to the visiting Orioles. The Mets split a four-game set with the Washington Nationals, winning the last two.

Bettors view the runs-line, giving 1.5 runs, as a value if the moneyline wager is too high. It might be with deGrom, who is often near -200.

It makes even more sense to Mets bettors because the team is 1-3 in one-run games in their 9-11 start. When they win, they have won big.

The Mets prevailed on opening day 1-0 and haven’t won a single game by one run since. That’s 19 additional games. Are they due to win a close one soon?

The Phillies entered Thursday with a single one-run victory this season. It came against the New York Yankees last week. They had also dropped two straight one-run games to Baltimore.

Scheduling oddities and more

The teams have been playing very few three-game sets this year. Two and four-game matchups have accompanied the 2020 campaign.

That said, the Mets have one three-game series win to their credit. The Phillies? Zero.

Another intangible for this Mets vs. Phillies matchup? Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil was carted off the field after slamming against the left-field fence to make a run-saving catch in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Nationals.

McNeil was unable to return to the dugout under his own power. The Mets’ batting leader last season, McNeil was hitting .293 in 17 games in 2020.

This is important to note both for Mets and over-under bettors if he is out of the lineup.

Mets vs. Phillies: pitching matchup

On Thursday, the Phillies had not named their starting pitcher. But Mets had tabbed an ace, deGrom, as their starter.

This is how good deGrom has been so far: He has a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA and a sterling 0.95 WHIP (baserunners allowed per inning) through four starts.

A power pitcher, deGrom has 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. He had a monstrous 255 strikeouts in 204 innings last year.

Like some power pitchers, however, deGrom has developed a blister problem on his pitching hand. That has limited him to between five and six innings for most of his starts.

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Key betting factors for Mets vs. Phillies Game 1

The betting key in this game, in which Philadelphia should be an underdog, is whether the Phillies can drive deGrom’s pitch count high enough to shorten his night.

That means taking pitches, fouling-off deliveries, and not swinging at the first offering.

The Mets, like the Phillies, are an up-and-down team. They stand at 9-11 after their four-game home split with the Washington Nationals.

New York has suffered some extraordinary meltdowns after coughing up ninth-inning leads with literally one strike remaining before a victory. They were beaten by double-digit runs the next game each time.

The Mets have played a full third of their 60-game season.

Both the Phillies and Mets have shown an absence of character.

The Phillies lost their recent series to the Baltimore Orioles and bettors have to decide if these games are an omen to the rest of the season.

Phillies’ woes on offense

Philadelphia has wasted some excellent hitting by Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Didi Gregorious. It has also wasted good starting pitching from Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin on their recent homestand.

The 10-9 loss they suffered Tuesday to the Baltimore Orioles was their most disheartening of the season. Homers by Harper and Jean Segura had given them a 6-5 lead entering the ninth.

But closer Hector Neris blew the save and, with the score 6-6 in the ninth, the Phillies dropped a bases-loaded popup that produced two runs.

Commentator Ricky Botallico, a former Phillie, called the game “an embarrassment to baseball.”

But it was not an embarrassment to the in-game bettors of over 9.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook in this game.

One night later, the Phillies could not gain redemption. They were nudged by the Birds 5-4 and fell into last place in the National League East. The most frustrating aspect for Philadelphia was Eflin recording a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings.

As forecast here Tuesday, Eflin was able to stretch out beyond his previous four-inning stint and made it all the way through six. But the shaky  Phillies bullpen gave up another run, and the team could not come all the way back.

The Orioles, projected for only 21 wins at DraftKings Sportsbook, left town with nearly half of them in their pocket.

New Jersey Marks Return Of Sports With $315 Million In Total Bets For July

NJ sports betting is happy to have pro sports back. July’s handle of $315 million marks not only an increase from June but a boost over 2019.

NJ sports betting is back in a very big way.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released its July revenue report earlier today, and let’s just say there are a few standout numbers.

The 17 operators took in $315.1 million in wagers and $29.5 million in revenue. Of course, the bulk of that handle ($295.8 million) came via mobile betting apps.

The number is higher than July 2019 when the handle came in at $251.1 million. The spike is even more noticeable when compared to June’s $165 million.

How did sports betting in New Jersey achieve such a number? Well, the return of sports such as the MLB and the NBA certainly helps.

Here are three other notable moments from July sports betting in NJ.

1. Hail the champions: FanDuel and DraftKings

Like any other month, FanDuel Sportsbook continues to be the heavyweight champion in the fight for market share.

The Meadowlands Racetrack reported a whopping $14 million in online and retail revenue. NJ Gambling Sites understands that FanDuel accounts for the majority of the revenue, and the rest is PointsBet NJ.

Even more noticeable is the fact that the number is nearly a $5 million jump from last July.

See what happens when there is more than baseball to bet on in the summer?

Resorts Digital remains in the No. 2 spot with $8.1 million.

While DraftKings Sportsbook accounts for the bulk of it, Fox Bet NJ and Resorts operate under the license as well. The three combined are a force to be reckoned with, too.

2. Borgata, Hard Rock are making noise

While FanDuel and DraftKings continue setting the pace, other operators are making noise.

Borgata, which reopened July 26, came in just shy of $3 million in total sports revenue. That’s good enough for third-best in the market.

It should come as no surprise that $2.3 million came via the BetMGM Sportsbook and Borgata Sports apps. With Borgata closed for most of the month, bettors went online.

And it’s looking more and more likely Borgata will soar past $10 million in revenue for the year. The number currently sits at $8.9 million.

Borgata reported $10.4 million for all of 2019.

While $856,358 may not stand out as much, Hard Rock Atlantic City is quietly making strides, too. Especially when comparing it to last year’s $153,991.

It seems Bet365 NJ and Unibet NJ are gaining traction. Both brands have a strong presence in Europe.

3. Mobile sports betting apps are still the story

It’s no secret sportsbook apps account for the bulk of the NJ sports betting business.

However, under current conditions, this statement carries even more weight.

Like the casino floor, NJ retail sportsbooks are currently limited to a 25% capacity. There is no word as to when these restrictions will change.

So the tellers and kiosks are open for wagering, but mobile betting doesn’t have the same limitations. Hence why retail only accounted for 6% of the July handle.

And the field of online operators is expanding. Wynn Sports recently launched under the Caesars Interactive license.

Tipico, which will operate under the Ocean Casino license, is likely weeks away from launch.

Bigger days still to come

Here we are two weeks into August, and the NJ sports betting menu is overflowing.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs got underway on Monday. And you may have heard the Philadelphia Flyers are one of the favorites.

The NBA Playoffs start next week. MLB is in full swing for its shortened regular season. And of course, NFL betting season is now weeks away.

In other words, NJ sportsbooks are likely looking at a record-setting August.

Breaking down the numbers

Here is a breakdown of the July NJ sports betting revenue numbers by operator:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueJuly Total
TOTAL$26,942,871$2,609,116 $29,551,987
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$357,132($124,801)$232,331
Borgata (BetMGM, Borgata Sports)$2,303,851$ 659,699$2,963,550
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$85,028$ 13,436$98,464
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online, Bet365 NJ, Unibet)$838,812$ 17,546$856,358
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$12,154,300$1,932,746$14,087,046
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse, TheScore Bet)$1,599,710$99,049$1,698,759
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$1,409,309$22,769$1,432,078
Resorts (DraftKings, Fox Bet, Resorts Online)$8,156,371($1,728)$8.154,643
Tropicana (William Hill)$38,358 $66,793$105,151

Phillies Betting Buzz: Can Philadelphia Bounce Back From A Tough Extra-Inning Loss?

The Orioles vs. Phillies game on Wednesday comes after a tough extra-inning loss. Here’s a game preview and odds for Orioles-Phillies Game 2.

Who are the Philadelphia Phillies?

The week that may define this team continues tonight in Game 2 of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park.

Wade LeBlanc is scheduled to pitch for Baltimore, while Zach Eflin is tabbed to take the bump for the Phillies. The Phillies, however, blew a ninth-inning lead and fell to the Orioles 10-9 in extra innings on Tuesday.

Given the recent efforts of both pitchers — LeBlanc being roughed up by the Miami Marlins for six runs in three-plus innings and Eflin holding the New York Yankees scoreless through four frames — the early-hunch edge goes to the Phillies.

The question for bettors will be what line is a fair price at New Jersey online sportsbooks.

It may be steep. FanDuel Sportsbook placed the Phillies at -180 and Baltimore at +156. The over-under of 10 runs at FanDuel will be a target, as the Phillies bullpen continues to falter.

Orioles vs. Phillies Game 2 odds

The odds below are as of 12 p.m. ET Aug. 12. 

Game 2: Orioles (8-7) vs. Phillies (5-7)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies-195-180-188-191
Baltimore Orioles+165+156+160+160

A note for in-game bettors: The Phillies bullpen has yielded 40 runs in 35 innings for an ERA of 10.28.

They gave up 13 runs in the last two games, which only spanned five innings. That’s a scary ERA of more than 23.

This will be a consideration for either Baltimore or bets on the total runs as soon as the starter gets his pitch count up. And that may not be too long for Eflin.

Where the Phillies stand

Eflin comes in off an effective performance last week against the Yankees.

He allowed no runs on four hits in a four-inning stint, throwing a career-high number of sinkers. Eflin was limited to 77 pitches. He will probably be allowed to extend into the 90-100 pitch range here and be given the chance to complete five or six innings.

LeBlanc, meanwhile, simply looks to rebound from a rough outing.

orioles vs phillies

A few intangibles to consider: Will the Phillies be dejected from the game that got away from them Tuesday night or make a statement in this game?

A Tuesday victory would have put them at .500, with the prospect of five more home games this week. Instead, they are 5-7 and are not taking advantage of a hefty home schedule.

The Phillies have played fewer road games than any team in the league and will have a heavy-weighted road schedule after this week. This is the week they need to do well.

They face an important gut-check period. The Tuesday loss was a backbreaker for Philadelphia, which had gained hard-earned, four-game series splits with the Yankees and Atlanta Braves before looking at visits from the Orioles and New York Mets this week.

Familiar problems crop up

The Phillies are beginning to resemble their 2019 form, in which they finished .500, rather than the improved team they were expected to be with free-agent acquisitions Didi Gregorious, Zack Wheeler, and championship manager Joe Girardi.

They often hit well but are paying the price for ignoring their most pressing concern — the lack of a closer — in the off-season.

It raises the concern that they can’t hold a late lead or capture a close game. Indeed, they only have a single one-run victory the entire season.

The Phillies have not won a game in which they scored less than five runs. They needed double-digit run production three times and lost Tuesday with nine.

On the offensive side, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Gregorious are hitting well. But can they produce double-digit runs every game?

Baltimore is exceeding expectations

The Orioles have played good ball at the start of the young season.

Baltimore swept Friday and Saturday games from the defending champion Washington Nationals and lead the suspended Sunday game 5-2. It was halted because of the weather after five frames.

Tuesday’s come-from-behind win made them 8-7 on the season with a three-game win streak.

They are also 10-5 against the spread, which counts a team as a 1.5 run underdog or 1 .5 run favorite.

Is there such a thing as a must-win this early in the 60-game season for the Phillies? Probably. If the Phillies capture this game, they can still eye a series victory.

A loss would be hard to take.

Get Gritty With It: Philadelphia Flyers Soar Into Top Spot For 2020 Stanley Cup

As the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers are a big attraction at NJ sportsbooks. Here’s a look at the Flyers’ Stanley Cup odds.

Philadelphia Flyers mania is heating up.

And it has nothing to do with Gritty being the NHL’s most popular mascot. Case in point:

Being a Philly pro sports team with a legitimate shot of winning a championship has fans pretty excited.

Check out the Stanley Cup championship odds at any of the 18 New Jersey online sportsbooks. The Flyers are at the top across the board.

And there is a very good reason why.

Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.

Guess which team is now favored to win the Eastern Conference?

The road to the championship begins Wednesday night. Up first is a best-of-seven series with the Montreal Canadiens.

Flyers getting hot at the right time

Prior to the NHL restart, the Flyers odds of winning it all were at +1000 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

That line is now at +550, and that is good enough for tops on the board with the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Flyers arrived in Toronto as the No. 4 in the East.

Things kept improving from there. The Flyers opened round-robin play with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.

They followed it up with a strong showing against the Washington Capitals, winning 3-1.

Plus it’s hard to forget the Lightning game that earned Philadelphia the top draw.

If the trends keep going this way, the Flyers are going to be a tough team to beat.

Philadelphia Flyers + NJ sports betting outlook

So forget about the Flyers 41 regular-season victories. The season now comes down to winning four games in the best-of-seven series.

Under these new normal times, all of the games are taking place inside the Toronto NHL bubble.

Plus, there are no fans in attendance. So even though the Flyers have home team advantage in games one and two, it doesn’t carry the same weight as previous seasons.

The Flyers are 2-1 against the Canadiens this season, but the two teams have not played each other since January.

And depending on the sportsbook, the puck line for Game 1 ranges between Flyers -1 and -1.5.

Here is a closer look at some of the NJ sports betting odds heading into the Eastern Conference quarterfinals (all odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET Aug. 11):

NJ sportsbook Game 1 vs. Canadiens - puck lineGame 1 vs. Canadiens - moneylineCanadiens vs. Flyers -
series odds
Flyers - Eastern
Conference odds
DraftKings -1.5 Flyers
+1.5 Canadiens
-148 Flyers
+128 Canadiens
-240 Flyers
+195 Canadiens
FanDuel-1.5 Flyers
+1.5 Canadiens
-160 Flyers
+135 Canadiens
-240 Flyers
+192 Canadiens
Fox Bet-1.5 Flyers
+1.5 Canadiens
-154 Flyers
+135 Canadiens
-225 Flyers
+180 Canadiens
BetMGM-1 Flyers
+1 Canadiens
-167 Flyers
+140 Canadiens
-250 Flyers
+210 Canadiens
PointsBet-1.5 Flyers
+1.5 Canadiens
-160 Flyers
+135 Canadiens
SugarHouse-1 Flyers
+1 Canadiens
-152 Flyers
+125 Canadiens
-240 Flyers
+195 Canadiens

Round 1: Flyers vs. Canadiens

The Flyers series against the Canadiens is an intriguing one. Being the No. 1 seed, Philly is now the team everyone in the East is chasing.

Then there are the Canadiens who arrived in Toronto as the No. 12 seed. It was rightfully assumed that Montreal would not make it past the play-in round.

That was before the Canadiens took the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the No. 5 seed. By winning the series in four games, they jumped up to the No. 8 seed.

And even though they are still heavy underdogs, the Canadiens have proven they’re capable of pulling an upset.

NJ sportsbooks, however, are giving the heavy advantage to the Flyers.

FanDuel Sportsbook has the Flyers a -240 to win the series while the Canadiens come in +192.

The week ahead: Flyers playoff schedule

Yes, there are a plethora of NHL futures wagers available in the state. And this goes for the entire postseason as well as each of the eight series.

Bettors looking to put some money down on Game 1 will find plenty of options. Before we get into that, here is a look at the Flyers-Canadiens series schedule:

  • Game 1: Wednesday, 8 p.m., NBCSN
  • Game 2: Friday, 3 p.m., NBCSN
  • Game 3: Sunday, 8 p.m., NBC
  • Game 4: Aug. 18, 3 p.m, NBCSN
  • Game 5: Aug. 19, TBD*
  • Game 6: Aug. 21, TBD*
  • Game 7: Aug. 23, TBD*

*If necessary 

Now, there are a number of different ways to bet the series.

For example, at BetMGM Sportsbook, there is a three-team parlay. All that needs to happen is the Flyers, New York Islanders, and Colorado Avalanche all win their respective games tomorrow. The odds are +475.

And here some other wagers for the Flyers-Canadiens series from BetMGM:

  • Which period will the most goals be scored?
  • First goalscorer in the game (including overtime).
  • Which team will be the first to reach three goals (regular time only)?
  • Who will win the first period?

Philadelphia Flyers fans are hungry for a Cup

There is little doubt the Philadelphia Flyers are going to attract a significant amount of the NHL betting handle.

Forget about the fact the team is favored. The Flyers last Stanley Cup victory came 45 years ago. Ever since winning back-to-back championships in 1974 and ’75, the franchise has experienced a very long drought.

You know the kind Philly pro sports fans are all too familiar with.

Philadelphia’s last Stanley Cup Finals appearance came in 2010. The Chicago Blackhawks won the series four games to two.

Add in a shutdown as a result of a global pandemic, and the desire to wager on the Flyers grows even more.

According to SugarHouse Sportsbook, hockey was the second most popular weekday sport to bet on last week among New Jersey and Pennsylvania customers. NBA betting claimed the top spot.

And heading into the weekend, the Flyers were the most popular team to be bet on, getting 17% of all NHL bets. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins were second with 14% followed by the Blackhawks at 13%.

Flyers and Stanley Cup odds

It should come as no surprise that bettors are putting money down on the Flyers. Some will go with the puck line in tomorrow night’s game while others are picking Philly to win it all.

But there are 16 teams still alive. The Flyers winning it all is not a guarantee.

Here is a look at the Stanley Cup odds from four NJ sports betting apps (all odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET Aug. 11):

Team DraftKings FanDuelFox BetBetMGM
Flyers +550+600+600+650
Golden Knights +550+600+450+600
Avalanche +650+600+550+600
Lightning +800+700+700+650
Bruins +850+800+800+750
Blues +1000+1100+1200+1000
Capitals +1200+1300+1000+1200
Hurricanes +1300+1600+1100+1800
Stars +1700+1600+1400+1600
Flames +2000+1900+1800+2000
Canucks +2000+2100+1800+2400
Islanders +2300+2100+1600+3000
Blackhawks +3200+3200+3300+3300
Blue Jackets +3200+3000+2200+2800
Canadians 3200+3300+3000+3300
Coyotes +3200+3300+2200+3300

Let the chanting begin.


Hey New Jersey, Do You Agree That Bet365 Is ‘The World’s Favorite Sportsbook’?

Actor Aaron Paul is the new pitchman for Bet365’s New Jersey sports betting app, which he refers to as the “world’s favorite sportsbook.”

Is Bet365 really “the world’s favorite sportsbook”?

New Jersey bettors paying close attention to Aaron Paul’s 30-second TV spot may suddenly be asking that question.

If you don’t know who Paul is, just think of Walter White and Breaking Bad. Paul starred as Jesse Pinkman on the hit AMC series.

The commercial plays regularly during Philadelphia 76ers and Phillies games, at least locally.

But for those who have not seen it, here it is:


It’s a sign that the popular sports betting brand across the pond is making a bigger push in New Jersey one year after its initial launch.

Bet365 + NJ sports betting

Bet365 is not a new player on the NJ sports betting scene.

The European operator launched in the Garden State around this time last year. Aug. 30, 2019, was the exact date.

The brand is one of three mobile sports betting apps under the Hard Rock AC license.

Hard Rock online sportsbook and Unibet NJ are the others.

But of the three brands, it seems Bet365 is really building a following with customers.

According to Online Poker Report, there are rumblings the brand accounts for the majority of the betting revenue under the Hard Rock license.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement does not break down monthly numbers by individual operator. Hard Rock did report $450,589 in sports betting revenue in June. Sports bets were still limited to the PGA Tour, NASCAR, and MMA.

And with Atlantic City casinos still closed, all of the wagers came in via NJ sports betting apps.

Can Bet365 make headway in New Jersey?

So that June revenue may not seem like a lot, but it was good enough for fourth-best.

July numbers will be released on Wednesday.

But August is likely the month when Bet365 will start to see if its new marketing campaign is working.

For one, building a customer base takes time, and in NJ, there is a lot of competition. It was almost exactly a year after DraftKings Sportsbook made its debut that Bet365 joined the crowd.

Secondly, August will include a full month of Major League Baseball, NBA, and NHL games.

Bet365 upping online casino offerings, too

While the commercial focuses on sports wagering, the Bet365 casino product isn’t being ignored.

The NJ online casino app is now offering Playtech casino games. The gambling technology company based in London offers an extensive library of online slots.

For Playtech, a company that offers 700-plus “innovative casino games,” the deal provides an entry point into the US online gaming market.

And for Bet365, having a strong sports betting/casino combo opens the door to cross-selling opportunities.

Sportsbooks + celebrities = advertising

With 18 mobile sports betting apps (and more on the horizon) available to Garden State bettors, gaining a market share is no easy task.

FanDuel Sportsbook is the market leader.

And DraftKings is a close second.

The rest all fight for a slice of the pie.

Plus several of the operators have and continue to create catchy TV ads to try and entice new customers.

For instance, PointsBet NJ teamed up with former 76er Allen Iverson.

And early on, DraftKings went with TNT basketball analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

So besides offering a variety of wagering options and innovative promo offers, sportsbooks are relying on creative pitch lines and heavy marketing as a means to drum up new business.

In terms of whether or not Bet365 really is “the world’s favorite sportsbook,” we will let the bettors decide.

Phillies Betting Buzz: NJ Sportsbooks Put Revitalized Philadelphia As Co-Favorites Vs. Atlanta

Friday’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves is a trick. Braves vs. Phillies game has NJ sportsbooks favoring both on the moneyline.

The rejuvenated Philadelphia Phillies, who just took two of three from the New York Yankees, host the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 7 (Friday night). In this game, however, NJ online sportsbooks view each team as being slightly favored.

The only real line movement was at PointsBet, in which the Phillies moved to -121 early Friday morning, up from -110. They have now settled at -115.

Braves vs. Phillies game odds

All odds are as of 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 7.

Braves (9-5) vs. Phillies (3-4)DraftKingsFanDuelFox BetPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies-110-110-110-115
Atlanta Braves-105-104-105-105

And here’s an odds boost to catch before the game: DraftKings Sportsbook has boosted a Bryce Harper home run and Phillies victory to +665, up from +610.

Fox Bet also has a few odds boosts to check out including Rhys Hoskins to hit the first OR last home run (was +350, now +450).

Of course, the Braves have won 11 of their last 12 against National League opponents following a win.

The Braves have scored 74 runs, the most in the NL. That has occurred over 14 games, giving them an average of slightly more than five per contest.

Here’s more of what to look for ahead of Friday’s Braves vs. Phillies:

Braves vs. Phillies pitching matchup

Vince Velasquez is slated to start for the Phillies. Kyle Wright is on the bump for Atlanta.

Velasquez did not look good in his first start of the season, being smoked by the Miami Marlins for four runs in three innings. The Phillies went on to lose 11-6 nearly two weeks ago.

He is a power pitcher — averaging more than a strikeout an inning for his entire career — but he is also susceptible to the long ball and the big inning.

Key batters he must get out include Ender Inciarte, who is hitting .400 against him lifetime, and Ronald Acuna, at .364.

In his last start, Wright gave up five hits and zero runs in 3.1 innings, helping the Braves get a 4-0 win over the New York Mets.

The key for Atlanta is whether he can stretch out and go at least five innings. Odds are he can.

Intangibles to keep in mind

Phillies closer Hector Neris threw 27 pitches in 1 1/3 innings of relief against the Yankees on Thursday. As usual, it was an adventure to the end. A deep fly ball with two runners on was caught, sealing the win.

The pitch total was right on the cusp of him needing a day of rest before appearing in another game. He may be available tonight, but it would be surprising if he then pitched Saturday, if you are looking at the weekend schedule.

The Braves lost ace Mike Soroka on Monday with an Achilles heel injury. They, and the rest of baseball, also received good news Wednesday when Nick Markakis opted back into the season.

Markakis had said he would sit out the season because of COVID-19 concerns but was activated Wednesday. On Thursday, he hit a walk-off homer as the Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3

Phillies are ringing the bell

The Phillies look like a revitalized team this week.

They took two of three from the best team in baseball, notching a doubleheader split Wednesday against the New York Yankees and defeating them Thursday night, 5-4.

Thursday, a three-run homer by J.T. Realmuto gave the Phillies a first-inning lead they did not relinquish.

The Yankees had not lost in 11 days before the Phillies defeated them twice in two days.

Phillies and Braves chasing Marlins’ tails

Philadelphia improved to 3-4 on the season and seeks to parlay the Yankee series into good performances against the rest of the league.

In three of their four games this week, the Phillies have hit the over in the over-under runs prop. It is between 9.5 and 10 at the major sportsbooks, not an easy call here.

Both the Phillies and the Braves are looking up in the National League standings at the Marlins, who are 6-1. The Marlins won three games in a row after a COVID-19-induced, one-week delay.

Weekend sneak peek: watch for another doubleheader

Thinking of the weekend action? Of course, you are.

The Phillies have listed Jake Arrieta as their Saturday starter and the Braves have tabbed Max Fried as their Sunday pitcher.

A lot can change, but that’s a first glance.

Rain is expected Friday. If it calls off tonight’s game, a doubleheader Saturday or Sunday would be likely. Remember to factor that into the availability of closers.

They may not be available for both games, and if they are, they would likely skip the following day.