Teams with Great Expectations
The Philadelphia Phillies will play their first regular-season game after losing in the World Series, facing the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
The Phillies won the National League Pennant, then made a lot of moves in the offseason to get better. The Rangers have spent money over the last two offseasons to improve the roster. Sportsbook sees both teams possibly being better than they were last season.
Phillies Start NL Pennant Defense
Aaron Nola will be on the bump for the Phillies. It is his sixth straight Opening Day start, the third-most in franchise history. He didn’t have one of the best records in the majors last season, 11-13, but his ERA was solid at 3.25 for an ERA+ of 125, finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young voting.
However, Philadelphia will be missing some key names. Bryce Harper will remain out for likely the first few months, still recovering from Tommy John surgery. First baseman Rhys Hoskins tore his ACL in Spring Training with no timetable to return. Both played a massive role in the Phillies’ postseason run in 2022, combining for 25 RBIs.
He has done it again!! 😱 USA leads 1-0! pic.twitter.com/VRW8zq8Dba
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 21, 2023
Some elite players are in the lineup, starting with new signing Trea Turner. He broke MLB news by signing with the Phillies for 11 years and $300 million. On top of that, he might be one of the hottest bats in the league, hitting a record-breaking five HRs in the World Baseball Classic.
MLB lines still see Philadelphia as a World Series contender, but the injuries could slow the Phillies early.
Rangers Hope Big Moves Payoff
Last offseason, the Rangers gave out a massive amount of cash to improve the lineup, signing middle infielders Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. Semien had a great season in 2022, while Seager struggled. Both are back being the heart of the offense, with Seager looking to improve and help Texas end its playoff drought.
This offseason, the starting pitching rotation underwent a complete overhaul, signing three new starters, headlined by Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, while retaining All-Star Martín Pérez. It is the opposite of last offseason, where most of the money was spent on acquiring hitters.
The vast overhaul in the starting rotation is why many bettors think the Rangers could be a surprise for MLB picks. Everything will begin with deGrom getting the Opening Day start after signing a $185 million contract over five years.
Jacob deGrom today:
3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K pic.twitter.com/OgixNWekRA
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 25, 2023
deGrom is no stranger to Opening Day starts, doing so with the New York Mets three times. When he is healthy, he is one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, having won two Cy Young awards.
Phillies vs Rangers Game Injuries
Phillies vs Rangers Head-to-Head
The Rangers have beaten the Phillies in nine straight games, dating back to 2014. Last season was the first time the teams had played since 2017, with the Rangers winning all four games.
Phillies vs Rangers Game Information
- Game: Phillies (0-0) vs Rangers (0-0)
- Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
- Day/Time: Thursday, March 30, 4:05 p.m. EST
- Phillies vs Rangers Live stream: MLB.tv
Phillies vs Rangers Betting Lines
Phillies vs Rangers Picks and Prediction
With all the injuries to the Phillies lineup, they might be a hard team to place MLB bets on early. On top of that, they will be facing deGrom, who has looked good in Spring Training.
This should be a low-scoring pitchiers’ duel, with aces taking the mound. However, the Rangers are healthier at the start of the new season, which could give them enough offense to scrape by with a win.
The Texas Rangers are listed at -132 in our Vegas MLB odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Rangers, you have a chance to win $76. The Philadelphia Phillies is +122 offering a chance to win $122 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Texas Rangers a 56.90% chance to win, with the Philadelphia Phillies at 45.05%.