The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers go head-to-head in game two of their three-game set divisional set on Saturday, April 1. The Rangers took the series opener 11-7 on Thursday thanks to a late-game rally. The first pitch from Globe Life Field in Arlington is set for 1:05 p.m. ET. The Phillies will send Zack Wheeler to the mound while the Rangers will counter with Nathan Eovaldi.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Phillies are 1.5-point favorites. The Rangers are +110 moneyline underdogs, and the over/under is set for 7.5.
Phillies-Rangers picks: Saturday, April 1
Out: DH Bryce Harper, SP Nick Nelson, SP Christopher Sanchez, SP Ranger Suarez, SP Noah Song
Out: CF Leody Taveras, SP Josh Sborz, SP Spencer Howard
Zack Wheeler vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Wheeler is making his first start of the season after logging 19 starts for Philadelphia in 2022, going 12-7 overall. The rightie finished with a 2.82 ERA, the second-best of his eight-year career, with 163 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.039. He faced the Rangers twice last season, allowing 13 hits and four runs to go along with 15 strikeouts.
Eovaldi makes his Rangers season debut after spending the last five seasons in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. In nine starts last season, he went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA and 103 strikeouts through 109.1 innings pitched.
Jacob DeGrom and Aaron Nola didn’t produce the type of pitching the duel that many had expected in Thursday’s opener, with these teams combining for a total of 18 runs. Perhaps Saturday’s matchup of 2021 All-Stars will flip the script? With Wheeler starting, I like Philadelphia’s chances of limiting the Rangers’ offense, and the reality is that Texas had to rally after DeGrom’s early struggles in that Thursday win. I’m thinking we get more of a pitching duel in game two of this series.
Pick: Under 7.5 combined runs
Don’t forget that Philadelphia had a 5-0 lead thanks to an RBI double by Brandon Marsh in Thursday’s opener, only for the Rangers to rally in a herculean effort to take game one. Although Texas had no issues scoring last season (12th in the league) it was their pitching that was the issue, but now they enter game two without their best pitcher in DeGrom on the hill. I’m taking the Phillies to even the series, barring another late-game rally.
Pick: Phillies (-130)