With a new week of baseball upon us, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown has just one play on Monday's short slate.
9:40 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks: Diamondbacks moneyline (-108) at FanDuel
The Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks are both flying across the country to begin their four-game series Monday night in Phoenix, and I am backing the Snakes to pick up the win at home.
Arizona has been the best team in baseball over the last two weeks, winning 11 of 13 games to improve to 40-25 and extend their NL West lead to 3.5 games over the Dodgers. Monday night, I give them a starting pitching edge with lefty Tommy Henry heading to the mound.
Henry (3-1, 4.37 ERA) doesn't have stats that jump off of the page, but he's been a consistent cog for Arizona since taking over Madison Bumgarner's spot in the rotation. He allowed just two earned runs while pitching into the sixth inning at Philadelphia in May, earning a win - and since then, he's allowed more than two runs just twice in seven starts. Against a Phillies offense that just traveled across the country and ranks 28th in wRC+ against lefties since May 1, that success ought to continue.
Philadelphia turns to Matt Strahm to start what amounts to a bullpen game, but each of Philadelphia's top four relievers -Gregory Soto (17 pitches), Seranthony Dominguez (19 pitches), Jose Alvarado (30 pitches), and Craig Kimbrel (14 pitches) appeared Sunday. Three of those four allowed runs, allowing Los Angeles to inch closer. The Phillies have a decent bullpen, but Arizona's offense can create havoc for new relievers, many of whom do not hold runners on as well as starters do.
Arizona has proven itself to be the better team overall through 65 games, and I give them a distinct pitching advantage here over the lefty-averse Phillies. If the Diamondbacks were a more significant favorite, I'd think twice - but at minus-108, let's back Torey Lovullo's group to stay red-hot.