By Adam Thompson | | 8 mins
Ultimate Philadelphia Phillies Betting Guide, 2021 Odds & Tips
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Two years of Bryce Harper have yet to result in a playoff berth. In fact, the Phillies haven’t finished above-.500 since 2011, and the National League East may be the toughest division in baseball.
But Harper and the Phillies have reason to believe they’re still legit contenders. They have standouts on the mound and enough bats to win their fair share of games.
Are they right and should MLB futures bettors be all over the Phillies for the 2021 season? Let’s take a look.
Phillies World Series Odds (+4000, DraftKings)
Perhaps low expectations is just what the Phillies need. In 2019, the team signed Harper to the largest contract in MLB history, were as low as +350 to win it all in March, and proceeded to miss the playoffs. They were +2000 at some sportsbooks before the start of the 2020 season. They missed the playoffs yet again.
Their 2021 odds are far higher, but the roster didn’t get an overhaul. In fact, it might be better. The offense ranked fifth in scoring and should again be a force. Pitching was the massive issue – the Phillies ranked 27th with a bullpen that owned an astonishing 7.06 ERA. Philly inked Archie Bradley to be the closer, a good start to shoring up what will likely remain a weakness.
If the Phils were overvalued the past two seasons, perhaps this year’s number is under what it should be. We know they’ll score runs; if they can get back-end bullpen productions, there is value in such high odds. They’re available for +4000 at DraftKings.
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Phillies Odds To Win The NL (+2500, PointsBet)
There aren’t many offenses in the NL that are expected to match the Phillies’ Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and even veterans Didi Gregorius and Andrew McCutchen. There aren’t many easy outs to be found.
The problem in winning the pennant lies in the competition. The Dodgers are in a class unto themselves. They ranked No. 1 in MLB in runs scored and No. 2 in pitching – then added Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to shore up their “weakness.”
The NL is top-heavy, with the Padres and Braves expected to be legit contenders, as well. It’s hard to pick Philadelphia to get past all those, but if they do, the World Series certainly is winnable. We like the title odds over the +2500 NL pennant odds. Still. PointsBet has great odds for the NL if you are so inclined.
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Phillies Odds To Win The NL East (+875, SugarHouse)
You won’t find a longshot with a more legit chance to actually win a division than the Phillies. Their +875 odds to win the NL East rank fourth out of five teams. And yet, few would be shocked if they actually were in the hunt in the final week of the season.
The Braves (+120), Mets (+140) and Nationals (+600) are also in the mix, with the Marlins (+2500) far behind.
Absolutely, Philadelphia can compete for a division crown. All three of those other teams are led by pitching; Philly is led by its bats. We are embarking on an era of hitters over pitchers. SugarHouse has good NL East odds for the Phillies.
4 Great Phillies Prop Bets To Back
Phillies – Win NL East (+875, Unibet)
The Phillies haven’t won the division since 2011 when they won 102 games. They haven’t even finished second since then. But the pieces are in place to at least be in the conversation – two frontline pitchers, a strong batting lineup, potential in the bullpen.
The Braves, Mets and Nationals are also in the conversation. And remember, the Marlins not only got to the playoffs in 2020, they won a series. Philly has legit depth questions that frankly don’t have answers, so health will be critical. But at this price, there’s value. Take the Phillies to win the East at Unibet .
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Bryce Harper – Under 36.5 Home Runs (-105, FOX Bet)
Harper is a five-tool star, a perennial All-Star and MVP contender, and he can certainly jack balls over fences. But he’s only eclipsed 36 HRs one time in eight years. He came close in 2018 and 2019, falling short with 34 and 35, as he’s learned patience (Harper led the NL in walks in 2018 and 2020).
Harper has the power to hit 40-plus, but his priority has been on driving in runs and getting on base, a focus that could benefit the Phillies, but not his HR total. Take the Under at FOX Bet .
More Wins – Phillies over Red Sox (-112, DraftKings)
The Phillies don’t have it easy in a loaded NL East, but the Red Sox are in a similar situation, dealing with the Yankees, Rays and resurgent Blue Jays in the AL East.
But the Phils have a better No. 3 starters pod, if only slightly. Their offense is better, if only slightly again. Each has considerable bullpen questions. In other words, these teams are on similar 2021 paths. Boston’s .400 win percentage last year insinuates they have a longer recovery path. Philly’s bats will win more games. Take the Phillies over the Sox at DraftKings .
NL Cy Young Award – Zack Wheeler (+3500, BetMGM)
Wheeler had a solid first season in Philadelphia in 2020, going 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts. His strikeouts ratio was down from previous seasons, but his fastball averaged nearly 97 mph. Here’s the key: His walks were way down, and he allowed the fewest home runs per nine innings of any pitcher in the NL.
In this era of swinging for the fences, keeping the ball in the yard is half the battle for pitchers – and nobody was better at it than Wheeler. He keeps that trend up, and more strikeouts and better run support will drive up his numbers, too. If Philly is in contention, Wheeler could be a great longshot Cy Young pick. Take Wheeler for pitching’s highest honor at BetMGM .