Opening Day Preview: Phillies kick off the 2022 MLB season against the Oakland Athletics
Baseball has officially returned to South Philadelphia. The Phillies’ quest for the 2022 World Series starts today, as they welcome the Oakland Athletics to town for a three-game series.
Phillies vs Athletics Pitching Matchups (stats from 2021)
- Friday: Aaron Nola (9-9, 4.63 ERA) vs Frankie Montas (13-9, 3.37 ERA)
- Saturday: Kyle Gibson (10-9, 3.71 ERA) vs Cole Irvin (10-15, 4.24 ERA)
- Sunday: Zach Eflin (4-7, 4.17 ERA) vs Daulton Jefferies (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Aaron Nola makes his 5th consecutive Opening Day start for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nola is coming off a down year, where he threw just a 4.63 ERA in 32 starts. The Phillies veteran arm is looking to get back on track this year, and back to his 2018-self. Nola’s going up against Frankie Montas, a 6’2 right-hander who tallied over 200 strikeouts last season.
Kyle Gibson is set to pitch on Saturday for the Phillies. Gibson, who was acquired at the trade deadline last year, is shooting for a season like his first half of 2021. Gibson tallied a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings pitched before being dealt to Philly last year. The 10th-year pitcher looks to ramp up his production this season as the 5th guy in the Phillies rotation. Gibson will be going up against former Phillie Cole Irvin in Game 2.
Zach Eflin will go in the series finale on Sunday for the Phils. Eflin is coming off a strong first half of 2021, but a back-half that was headlined by injuries. Eflin finished the season 4-7 with a 4.17 ERA, striking out 99 batters with a WHIP of 1.25. Eflin will face Daulton Jefferies in the series finale on Sunday.
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Phillies New-Look Offense
Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber will make their Phillies regular-season debut today. Schwarber will most likely lead off in the team’s everyday lineup, while Castellanos is projected to hit fourth. Bryson Stott will also make his major-league debut at third base. Stott crushed the ball this spring, hitting .406/.513/.563 in 32 at-bats.
Dingers Only. That will be the rally cry for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2022 MLB season.
Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, Didi Gregorius, Jean Segura, Bryson Stott, and Mickey Moniak combined to hit .298/.369/.619 with 26 home runs in 336 plate appearances during Spring Training.
Bryce Harper led the way with eight home runs this Spring, followed by Mickey Moniak with six. Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber both hit three home runs and Didi Gregorius hit two. Everyone else on the roster basically hit one home run.
Centerfield Question Marks
The biggest question mark going into this season was the centerfield position, and we had an answer for a few weeks. Mickey Moniak broke out and had a great spring, and it seemed like he would be a part of a platoon with Matt Vierling.
Mickey Moniak is now out for 4-6 weeks with a hairline fracture in his right hand, after being hit by a pitch in the last spring training game vs the Rays. The team brought up Simon Muzziotti to take Moniak’s spot, solidifying Vierling as the starting centerfielder.
The Dumpster-Fire Oakland Athletics
The Athletics completely blew it up in the offseason, trading away Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt, and Sean Manaea. The back of the rotation for the A’s is horrendous, being headlined by former Phillies pitcher Cole Irvin.
The Oakland A’s spent zero dollars in free agency this offseason, and don’t have many expectations for this season. BetMGM has their season total at 68.5, one of the worst in the league. The Phillies should steamroll this team this weekend.
Game 1 Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
|Phillies||-196||-1.5 (+115)||O 8.5 (-102)|
|Athletics||+164||+1.5 (-138)||U 8.5 (-120)|
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Game 1 Prediction
The Phillies have high expectations going into this season, and I think they get off to a hot start today. Harper, Schwarber, and Hoskins all go yard, and Nola goes 7 innings strong.