Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3903 Los Angeles Dodgers vs.
#3904 Philadelphia Phillies
Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 1:35pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

This article covers a past game!

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The red-hot Dodgers continue their series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, looking to win the series. The Phillies welcomed back 2021 MVP Bryce Harper from a 5-game absence on Saturday. Sunday's pitching matchup will feature righty Tony Gonsolin (4-0, 1.64) of the Dodgers against righty Zach Eflin (1-3, 3.90). First pitch is scheduled for 135pm EST.

Delivering in Dodgertown

The LA Dodgers are off to one of the best starts in the major leagues and are only just now getting the kinds of production they hoped for from their star players. Mookie Betts has found his power stroke after struggling to get his first long ball well into April. Betts, with another home run on Saturday, now has 9 home runs to lead the team and is starting to look like he could become a candidate for MVP for this powerful club. On Saturday, Betts and the Dodgers offense stepped up yet again. Betts went 3-for-4 with a home run, 3 RBI and a run scored and a clutch Gavin Lux single in the 8th gave the Dodgers a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Dodgers got the win utilizing a bullpen game as they piece together pitchers with the injuries to their starting rotation.

The Dodgers are once again amongst the best teams in baseball and boast a starting lineup that features three former MVPs. The pitching rotation took a hit recently when long-time Dodger stalwart Clayton Kershaw joined fellow starter Andrew Heaney on the IL. Kershaw is likely out at least three more weeks as the Dodgers soldier on. With the injuries to the starting rotation, the pitching of Gonsolin has been crucial to the Dodgers success. He has made seven starts this season and pitched 33 innings and allowed just 19 hits. He has also allowed just six earned runs and struck out 30 batters and owns a 1.03 WHIP this season. The Dodgers are 5-2 in games he has started thus far this season.

MVP Back in the Fold

The Phillies have hit a rough patch since dismantling the Dodgers in LA last weekend in three of four games. Coming into Saturday's action the Phillies have lost four out of five games since taking the first three games in LA. Not surprisingly, MVP Harper missed all five of those games as he recovers from a platelet injection to ease the pain in his throwing shoulder. On Saturday, Harper returned as the team's DH against the Dodgers, hoping to get the Phils back on track. On Saturday, the Phillies blew a 4-1 lead and, despite home runs from Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm, fell 7-4. Starter Aaron Nola went 5.1 innings and allowed four runs on five hits while striking out 9 batters.

The Phillies came into the season as a team that was loaded with power bats but likely a below-average defense. With Harper forced to play as a DH only as he recovers from shoulder issues, the Phillies defense has gotten even weaker. Philadelphia comes into the series ranked 17th in errors per game and has been forced to utilize key free-agent acquisition Kyle Schwarber more in the outfield than they initially intended. As a result, the range of the Philadelphia outfield is amongst the worst in baseball. Sunday's starting pitcher, Eflin, will be charged with keeping the ball down and limiting the work his outfield must do. On the season, he's allowed 31 hits in 30 innings but with just one home run. Eflin throws strikes with just 5 total walks on the season but does allow the ball to be put in play as he has just 23 strikeouts this season. Eflin does have 2 quality starts mixed in with his six starts so he has the stuff to keep the Phils in the game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Dodgers have gotten all they could ask for and more out of Gonsolin in the starter's role. He has kept them in each game that he's pitched and has allowed just 3 earned runs total in 3 road starts this season. The Dodgers have taken the first two games of the series and will look to close out a weary Philadelphia team playing their 23rd game in 22 days. The Dodgers should be able to take advantage of a Philly bullpen that has been pushed during this stretch and will likely be asked to do more of the same in this game with Efflin averaging just 81 pitches per outing. Gonsolin should be able to get the Dodgers into the 7th inning in this game and will likely be expected to do so following a bullpen game on Saturday. Given his recent numbers, he should be up for that challenge.  Look for the vengeful Dodgers to complete the sweep on Sunday.

Take the Dodgers with the money line.

Prediction: Dodgers -135

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Phillies lineup is completely different, not surprisingly, with Harper in it. Without Harper, Philadelphia played to the under in four of the five games he missed. With Harper, including Saturday night's game, the Phillies have gone over the total in six out of seven games. This game also pits the #1 Dodgers run-scoring offense against the #10 Philadelphia run-scoring offense. The Dodgers have played to the over in 8 out of their last 10 games including Saturday's contest. The two teams have now played to the over in five out of their six meetings this season. Look for that trend to continue on what is projected to be a warm and extremely humid day in Philadelphia. The ball should be flying out of the park.

Take the over, 10 runs.

Prediction: Over 10
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Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.