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Sports Betting Tips: Can Zach Eflin Tame the Bronx Bombers?

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In today’s blog article, Oskeim previews the game between the Yankees and Phillies.  Oskeim recommends taking the Phillies as live home underdogs as one of his premium sports betting tips for Wednesday, June 27.

Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin takes the mound with a 3.44 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in nine starts this season, a span encompassing 49.2 innings of work. Eflin’s surface numbers are substantiated by strong peripherals: 2.94 FIP, 3.73 xFIP, 3.62 SIERA, 86 ERA-, 71 FIP-, 9.24 K/9 and 2.17 BB/9.

The 24-year-old’s breakout campaign is a bit of a surprise after posting a 6.16 ERA, 6.10 FIP and a 5.21 xFIP across 64.1 innings last season.

Eflin was not known for his swing-and-miss stuff during his rookie season in 2016. In fact, there were 181 starting pitchers that season who threw at least 50 innings, and only two of them finished with a lower strikeout rate than Eflin’s (4.41 K/9).

To be fair, Eflin has struggled with knee pain throughout his career and required surgery to repair the patella tendon in both of his legs. Entering spring training underweight, Eflin had a disastrous 2017 season (see above).

Fast forward to 2018 wherein Eflin had a tremendous offseason – arriving at camp with an extra 20 pounds of muscle. His offseason training regimen has translated into newfound success in 2018.

According to Baseball Prospectus, of all the pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings this season, Eflin has faced the fourth-toughest average opponent. In other words, Eflin’s current 3.44 ERA, 2.94 FIP and 9.24 K/9 rate have come against some of the stiffest lineups in baseball.

Eflin’s fastball velocity has increased by nearly 2 mph, which is one of the largest increases among starting pitchers in 2018. Indeed, Eflin’s four-seamer has accounted for 58% of his strikeouts compared to just 28% last year.

Eflin is 4-0 in four June starts. He has a 2.28 ERA and .594 opponent OPS with 22 strikeouts and only four walks over that span (23 2/3 innings). Last Friday, Eflin gave up two runs in five innings against the Nationals.

The Phillies are 4-0 in Eflin’s last four starts and 6-0 in his previous six outings against teams with a winning record. I also like the fact that home teams are 6-1 in the last seven games with umpire Doug Eddings behind home plate.

The Yankees are averaging just 3.9 runs in interleague play and 4.1 runs over their last seven contests. Despite being shutout last night, Philadelphia’s bats have been potent over the last seven affairs, averaging 5.9 runs per game (.349 OBP, .804 OPS).

Philadelphia batters have an opportunity to score some runs against Yankees’ starter Luis Cessa, who spent two months on the disabled list this season with a strained oblique. Cessa was signed by the Mets in 2008 at the age of sixteen and arrived at the Yankees’ organization in 2015.

The 26-year-old posted a 4.75 ERA, 5.69 FIP and 5.13 xFIP in ten appearances (5 starts) in 2017. Cessa also garnered a 3.45 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 3.94 xFIP across 78.1 Triple-A innings last year.

“We have a lot of confidence in Cessa, that is the kind of role going into the season that we envisioned him in – the fifth, sixth starter and bullpen guy,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Cessa is 2-7 with a 4.54 ERA in fourteen major league starts and has allowed two earned runs in six innings for the Yankees this season. New York is 3-7 in Cessa’s last ten starts and 1-4 in his previous five starts.

Finally, Philadelphia relievers have compiled a 2.13 ERA and 1.18 WHIP versus American League bats this season, a period covering 25 1/3 innings (28 K, 19 H). Grab the Phillies as a live home underdog as one of Oskeim Sports’ sports betting tips for Wednesday, June 27.

Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Betting Tips for June 27:

  • Philadelphia Phillies (+122) over New York Yankees