Both on the outside looking in, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets get set for another showdown while both still hold out hopes for a big run to get them into the playoffs. The Phillies sit closer as these two get set for the middle game of a three-game set on Saturday. Can the Mets pick up some ground or will the Phillies be the ones to inch closer to their October dreams?
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- Date and Time: Saturday, September 7, 2019, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Location: Citi Field, New York, New York
- 2019 MLB Betting Odds at Betcris: (Check Back Later)
- Phillies vs. Mets 2019 MLB TV Coverage: FS1
Both the Phillies and Mets will send their newer starting pitchers to the mound in this one with Drew Smyly getting the ball for Philadelphia and Marcus Stroman getting the nod for New York.
It’s been a rough season for Smyly who is trying to work his way back from injury this year. The Texas Rangers gave him a shot to start the season, but he made 13 appearances—including nine starts—and pitched to an 8.42 ERA in 51.1 innings before getting cut lose.
From there, the once-promising southpaw was selected and dropped by the Brewers before the Phillies finally gave him another chance.
Smyly has been better for the Phillies compared to his work for Texas, going 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA though his 1.362 WHIP and 5.20 FIP are still far from exciting. He’s striking out 9.3 batters per nine on the season which is promising, but he’s been extremely home run prone. He allowed 19 in 51.1 innings for Texas and has given up 10 in 43.1 innings for the Phillies. That’s 29 long balls total in fewer than 100 frames.
The southpaw started his Philly career with a couple great outings in July, but he had a terrible August with 7.20 ERA in five starts. He, however, did look better in his last start, going 5.1 innings against the Reds in Cincinnati, allowing just one runs and striking out eight. The run he allowed did come on a homer.
Compared to Smyly, Stroman is a much better pitcher. He was traded to the Mets midseason after posting a 2.96 ERA in 21 starts for the Blue Jays.
The right-hander was just 6-11 with the Jays due to a poor team around him, but he was throwing well. His FIP was a bit higher than the ERA at 3.51, but still solid, and he had done well avoiding the homer with just 10 in 124.2 innings.
After being traded to the Mets, Stroman has struggled a bit, at least by comparison, with a 1-1 record, 4.55 ERA and 1.642 WHIP in six starts over 31.2 innings of work. His homer runs and walks have both jumped, though interestingly he’s also struck out a few more batters, too.
While the transition to New York hasn’t been smooth, the righty is coming off a nice start—his best with the Mets. In that start, Stroman tossed his first quality start with the Mets, going six innings with two runs allowed against the Phillies.
Stroman will try to replicate that, facing Philadelphia again in this one, this time at home.
Neither bullpen has been a strength this season with the Phillies and Mets both ranking in the bottom third in baseball in bullpen ERA. The Phillies have the slight edge, but the Mets have the bigger names.
For Philadelphia, most of their veteran arms are on the shelf from Pat Neshek to David Robertson, but they’ve gotten some good innings lately from a few, including closer Hector Neris.
Neris has had a solid season with a 3.09 ERA and 23 saves. Over the last month, he has thrown 11.2 innings with a 0.77 ERA. Interestingly, he has blown a couple saves.
Leading up to Neris, Jose Alvarez, Blake Parker and Ranger Suarez have been throwing reasonably well, but the pen is still far from a lockdown unit.
As for the Mets, their bullpen ERA has been even worse than the Phillies’ this season. Edwin Diaz has been a huge bust in the closer’s role with a 5.65 ERA. Justin Wilson has been reliable, and Seth Lugo has been solid, but really, that’s been about it.
More recently, Luis Avilan has joined them, pitching to a 1.74 ERA in the last month. Jeurys Familia has turned the corner a bit, too, but Diaz continues to struggle mightily.
Between Lugo, Avilan, Wilson and Familia there are a few options for Mickey Callaway, but—like the Phillies—its far from a reliable group.
The Mets and Phillies have scored the same number of runs this season and own very similar offensive stats. In the second half, however, the Mets have been a better offensive club though the offensive production has been a bit inconsistent over the last couple weeks. They’ve scored 21 runs in two ball games, but also had six games of two runs or less in the last 12 games.
New York’s offense is starting to get healthy. Robinson Cano is back.
The Mets also have a couple huge contributors making a major offensive difference. Pete Alonso, for one, has 44 homers and 104 RBI with a 151 OPS+. Jeff McNeil hasn’t hit nearly as many homers but has been a doubles machine and a hits machine, hitting .323 with a 144 OPS+ while sitting on the fringes of the MVP race.
Along with McNeil and Alonso, Michael Confroto, J.D. Davis, and Wilson Ramos all have an OPS+ of at least 111. Ahmed Rosario has really been swinging the bat well in the second-half as well.
For the Phillies, Rhys Hoskins has been cold, but has started to show signs of breaking out of his funk. Bryce Harper hasn’t had the season most hoped in his first in Philly, but he still has 30 homers and 100 RBI.
More recently, Harper has a 1.037 OPS in his last 23 games, hitting 11 of his homers in that span. J.T. Realmuto and Corey Dickerson have also provided quality at bats over the last month with a .915 and .872 OPS respectively.
The Mets took two of three from the Phillies last week—on the road, but the Phillies are still 10-6 in the MLB season series. Philadelphia also has the edge in the win-loss record overall, though the Mets have the better run differential.
New York had a great run through most of August, going 15-5 in the first 20 games of the month and getting back into the playoff picture, but they’ve slipped a bit lately, going 4-8 in their last 12 games.
The Mets, however, are a much better home team than road team and return to Citi Field to take on the Phillies. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is a couple games under-.500 on the road. They’re off to a good 3-0 start in September. They’re 12-7 in their last 19 games.
These are two evenly matched teams but look for the Mets to get the win at home where they’ve been a much better team.
Stroman hasn’t been what the Mets’ expected when they acquired him, but he’s coming off a good start and is a much better pitcher than Smyly.
Count on Stroman to turn the game over to the bullpen with a lead as Smyly struggles against the Mets’ bats.
New York should gain a big enough early lead to allow their bullpen to close the door even with only a few reliable arms.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets Pick: Look for the home team to get the win behind a pitcher that’s starting to turn the corner.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets Score Prediction: Mets 6, Phillies 4