the phenol is more acidic as compared to ortho methyl phenol because the methyl group is electron releasing group which will increase the electron density in the ring as well as on the carbon atom attached to -OH (hydroxyl group) thus -OH group will not release the H+ ion. but in case of phenol there is not any electron releasing group to increase the electron density at ‘c’ atom so the -OH group will release the H+ ion to satisfy the electronegativity of O atom as shown below.

now as clear from the above resonating structures the phenoxide ion is more stable than the phenol itself due to delocalisation of charge. so it is likely for the reaction to shift towards right side.

thanks

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