For all of Cole Hamels' accolades and achievements during his 10 seasons with the Phillies, he never finished higher than fifth in Cy Young voting.
This year, in his first full season with the Texas Rangers, he's Bovada's AL Cy Young favorite as of Sept. 1, with 2/1 odds.
Hamels is 14-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 27 starts with Texas this season. He's struck out 171 batters in 173 innings but also walked a career-worst 3.4 batters per nine innings.
Despite pitching in the tougher league, Hamels has posted the third-best ERA of his career and the third-best in the American League, behind only Aaron Sanchez and Jose Quintana. The Rangers, at 80-54, have the best record in the AL.
It really just shows that, despite the common perception in Philadelphia that the Phillies received a strong haul in exchange for Hamels, Texas is quite happy with its own portion of the trade. Hamels has made 39 regular-season starts for Texas over the last 1½ seasons and gone 21-5 with a 3.16 ERA. And keep in mind the Rangers are paying only about half of his remaining salary.
Another former Phillie, J.A. Happ, is fourth on Bovada's list of AL Cy Young favorites at 8/1, behind Corey Kluber and Chris Sale (3/1).
Happ has been remarkably consistent for another AL playoff contender in Toronto, going 17-4 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 26 starts.
Who'da thunk it?
On opening day, the Phillies' odds to win the National League were 40/1.
A week before the trade deadline, they are 6/1, according to Bovada.
The Phils have come a long, long way since those final few days of March and the national perception of this team has changed completely.
As of Thursday, the only two teams with shorter odds to win the NL pennant were the Dodgers (3/1) and Cubs (7/2). These odds were released after the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado.
It's interesting to see the Phillies so high on the list, even though they entered Sunday's doubleheader a dozen games over .500 and with the NL's second-best record. Vegas obviously expects the Phillies to add a piece or two before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The other reason the Phils' odds are shorter than those of the Diamondbacks (15/2) and Brewers (8/1) is that the Phillies are favored to win the NL East. So even if teams like Arizona and Milwaukee have more talent or end up with a better record than the Phillies, those clubs would most likely be participating in the wild-card game. The Dodgers and Cubs are heavily favored to hold on to win their divisions.
The Phillies are narrowly favored to win the NL East. They are +155, while the Braves are +165 and the Nationals are +200. (This means that a $100 bet on the Phillies would win you $155.)
The Braves entered Sunday a half-game behind the Phillies. They've won two in a row after losing eight of 10.
As for the Nationals, things just keep getting worse. Washington is a game under .500 at 48-49, and they've taken L's both on and off the field this weekend. There was the dugout confrontation between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg on Friday, and then the news Sunday that All-Star closer Sean Doolittle is dealing with a stress reaction in his foot that will keep him out at least another few weeks.
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Saturday night’s Phillies-San Diego Padres game has been postponed because of rain.
The game will be made up Sunday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.
The start of Sunday’s regularly scheduled game (game 50 ticket) will be moved from 1:30 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. Gates will open at 11:05 a.m.
The makeup game (game 49 ticket) will start at 6:05 p.m. According to the team, fans holding tickets for Saturday night's game may use them for Sunday night’s 6:05 p.m. game. Fans unable to attend that game may exchange them for any remaining home game this season.
Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta will be the Phillies’ starting pitchers in Sunday’s doubleheader. Pivetta will start Game 1 and Velasquez will take the mound for Game 2.
The Phillies returned from the All-Star break and posted an 11-5 win over the Padres on Friday night. That game began a stretch of 19 of 29 games against non-contending teams for the Phillies.
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