Gambling sports dynamics have changed for the Phillies after they acquired Houston Astro starting pitcher Roy Oswalt for the sports book gambling stretch run towards the playoffs.
The Phillies were trailing the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East Division and were in the thick of the wild card race.
Oswalt had a less than stellar baseball wagering debut for the Phillies as they were rocked in an 8-1 loss at Washington though some of that can be blamed on a cross country flight for the pitcher and the shock of leaving the only team he ever played for behind.
“I came out amped up, held the ball a little tight,” said Oswalt after the loss to the Nats. “Didn’t really start feeling better until the last two innings. Didn’t really go my way.”
Pitching for a contender instead of a cellar dweller is quite a change for Oswalt.
“It’s different for sure,” said the new Phillies starter. “This team is good from top to bottom. It’s good to be on a pitching staff with (Roy) Halladay and (Cole) Hamels and the other guys. It’s hard to gain 30 games overnight.”
“He didn’t have his command, and we played sloppy,” said manager Charlie Manuel. “But I liked his stuff. He’s going to be fine.”
Oswalt’s record was only 6-13 but that is deceptive as his earned run average was a solid 3.53. He suffered for playing on the last place Astros that gave him very little run support. His record is expected to dramatically improve once he finds the groove in Philadelphia.
By acquiring Oswalt, Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted that is was a mistake to trade Cliff Lee, who was traded to Seattle because it was believed that he would leave Philadelphia after this season for free agency.
While the Phillies were trailing the Braves by 4 games in the NL East they are still considered by many to be the favorite with the baseball odds to win the division as repeat National League champs.
Amaro, Jr. has gone back and forth on his approach but it’s now apparent to everyone that is gambling sports that the Phillies are playing for right now.