Pennsylvania Sports Bettors Embrace Phillies First Postseason Appearance Since Legalization

Pennsylvania Sports Bettors Embrace Phillies First Postseason Appearance Since Legalization
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

It took 11 years, but Red October is back in the MLB Playoffs and bettors who use PA sportsbooks will have their first postseason opportunity to wager on the Philadelphia Phillies since the state’s first legal sports bet was taken in 2019. 

Pennsylvania was the seventh state to start accepting legal sports wagers and the fourth to allow online sports betting. 

PennStakes takes a look below at what Pennsylvania bettors can key in on for Philadelphia’s postseason: 

The sixth-seeded Phillies (87-74 entering Wednesday's regular-season finale) will take on the NL Central Division Champion and third-seeded St. Louis Cardinals (93-68) at Busch Stadium in a best-of-three Wild-Card series (all in St. Louis) starting with Friday's game 1 (2:07pm ET on ABC). 

The last time the Phillies played a playoff game, they were eliminated in Game 5 of the NLDS by the Cardinals in Philadelphia on Oct. 7th, 2011. 

Eleven years to the date, the Phillies, who will start Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA) in Game 1 vs. Adam Wainwright (11-12, 3.71), have gone 4-3 against the Cardinals this season. 

The second-seeded and NL East champion Atlanta Braves (101-60) await the winner in the NLDS. Atlanta went 4-3 against the Cardinals and 11-8 against the division-rival Phillies this year.

Latest DraftKings Odds

On Wednesday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook PA had the Phillies at +115 to win the series over the Cardinals (-135). 

The Phillies are the fifth favorite to win the National League Championship Series at +1100 and are tied with the San Diego Padres at +2500 to win the World Series. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorite to win the NL at +170 and the favorite to capture the Fall Classic at +350.

Most Recent Playoff Performances for Phillies, Cards

The Phillies lost to the Cardinals in the 2011 best-of-five NLDS, 3-2, with three of those games decided by one run. 

Last season, the Cardinals lost, 3-1, in a one-game Wild Card playoff to the Dodgers on Oct. 6. A member of that Dodgers team was none other than Albert Pujols, who broke the 700 home run threshold in his return to the Cardinals organization this season.

Stay close to PennStakes.com for MLB postseason odds and the top Pennsylvania sports betting promotions.

Phillies in New MLB Playoff Format

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), MLB expanded the postseason field from 10 to 12 teams starting this season. The Phillies will be the third team from the NL East to make the playoffs and the last one to earn a berth in the NL. 

Both the American League and National League now have three Wild Card berths (up from two), with the top two seeds in each league receiving first-round byes. 

The other teams will pair up for the best-of-three Wild Card Series, in which all three games will be played at the home of the higher seed. The winners advance to each league’s Division Series.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Strong

The August mobile and retail total sports betting handle in Pennsylvania was more than $363 million, up 7.9% from July ($336.51 million) and up 4.2% from August 2021 ($348.52 million). 

For Pennsylvania sports betting apps – which make up 91.8% of the state’s sports gambling market – the handle was a little more than $333 million, up 6.9% from July ($311.53 million) and up 4.7% from August 2021 ($318.13 million).

Those numbers point to healthy betting interest in the Phillies as they try to capture their first World Series title since 2008.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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