Hottest versus best

The NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks will be gunning for their seventh consecutive victory Tuesday night when they travel to Philadelphia to play a Phillies squad that owns baseball’s best record.

Most offshore sports books monitored by the SportsOptions odds product have opened the Phillies as hefty $2.30 home favorites, with the total set at seven ‘over’ (minus $1.30).

Having such a one-sided price when two division leaders meet might seem a bit odd, especially when the underdog owns a league-best six-game winning streak. However, the pitching matchup clearly favors the Phils.

Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51 ERA) will take the mound for the home team against Arizona’s Joshua Collmenter (7-7, 3.51 ERA).

Halladay might have his hands full in Tuesday’s opener of a three-game set, as the Diamondbacks have amassed 40 runs during their six-game winning streak.

Arizona registered its sixth straight victory Sunday thanks to a 5-3 victory against the New York Mets. The win enabled the D’Backs to stay two games ahead of the second-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

Philadelphia improved its league-leading ledger to 78-41 with Sunday’s 11-3 pasting of the Washington Nationals as a 1.65 home favorite. The win lifted Philadelphia’s home mark to a sizzling 42-19. Only the Milwaukee Brewers, at 44-15, own a better home record.

Halladay hasn’t pitched since last Monday when he registered a 5-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers as a $1.55 road favorite. The combined eight runs toppled the six-run closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash in 11 of Halladay’s last 14 starts, including the last four in a row

The 6-foot-6 right-hander allowed the Dodgers just one run on nine hits through 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and fanned four during a 111-pitch effort.

Halladay, who has pitched at least into the seventh inning during 18 of his last 20 assignments, has not started against the Diamondbacks this season.

Collmenter is off last Wednesday’s 6-3 victory at Houston as a bloated $2.15 road favorite. The combined nine runs slipped ‘under’ the 9 ½-run closing total, snapping Collmenter’s streak of three straight ‘over’ outings.

The 25-year-old right-hander limited the Astros to two runs on four hits through seven innings spanning 101 pitches. He walked one and fanned five.

Collmenter has not started against the Phillies this year, but did see them during an April 27 relief appearance. He hurled a scoreless inning and fanned one during an 11-pitch effort.

This will be Arizona’s first stop on a 10-game road excursion that will take the team to Atlanta for a three-game weekend set before finishing the journey with four games in Washington against the Nationals.

Kirk Gibson’s troops are a nifty 32-27 in their first 59 road dates, 50-36 against right-handed starters, 22-13 in one-run games and 6-4 in extra inning affairs. Arizona has seen the ‘over’ go 14-5 in its last 19 overall outings and 8-3 in its last 11 meetings with Philadelphia.

The Phillies are an impressive 55-32 against right-handed starters, 22-11 in one-run contests and 6-6 in extra innings. The Phils have outscored the opposition by 137 runs (528-391) and their 391 runs allowed are the fewest in the league.

Philadelphia is 11-5 in its last 16 matchups against Arizona, but just 1-2 this season. The ‘over’ cashed in two of this season’s three meetings.

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