Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets Pick 9/7/19
Philadelphia Phillies (72-68) vs. New York Mets (72-68)
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, September 7
Where: Citi Field, New York
Moneyline: PHI + 150/NYM -160
Runline: Phils +1.5/Mets -1.5
Familiar FaceMarcus Stroman hasn’t been around the NL East for long, but he’ll be seeing the Phillies for the second time in less than two weeks in this one, as his last start was also against the Phils. In that game, Stroman was able to hold the Phillies to two runs over six innings, but the Mets’ bullpen was again not up to the task and again allowed the opponents to put the game out of reach. Stroman has been able to give the Mets six innings on most nights, other than one start where he had hamstring tightness against Cleveland and left the game after four innings. When he has gotten to the sixth inning, the result has usually been a low-scoring game that the Mets have a decent chance to win. The Mets need to get his best game in this situation, and that means limiting the home runs, which has been Stroman’s only major issue in moving to pitching in the National League. Since coming to New York, Stroman has given up six home runs in six games, after giving up 10 in 21 games with Toronto.
Playoff PushThis weekend is likely the end of the line for one of these teams, given that they have the same record at four games over .500, but multiple teams in front of them and little chance to improve their standings with the time they have remaining. As such, one of these teams needs to take control of this series and finish the weekend strong if either of these sides is going to have a shot at catching the Cubs and the Diamondbacks for the final wild card spot. Of course, they could also catch the Nationals, and that’s likely to be the Phillies’ only path in at this point, given that they play seven with Atlanta and five with Washington down the stretch. As such, the Phillies only have a 1.4 percent chance of a playoff spot, while the Mets have a more reasonable schedule and a more realistic 14.4 percent shot.
Patience Is a ProblemWhile Stroman has mostly made the adjustment to the National League, Smyly has really struggled with pitching in a Philadelphia uniform. Like with Stroman, the biggest issue has been the balls he’s allowed out of the park, although Smyly has also had the added issue of becoming his own worst enemy with walks. In his past five starts, he’s allowed at least two free passes, which have paired with his scattered hits to create big innings for the Phillies’ opponents. In four of his past six starts, Smyly has failed to hold the other team under four runs, but he’s been bailed out by an offense that has had some serious issues all season but seems to come through when Smyly needs it the most. Because of that, four of his past six starts have gone in the win column for the Phillies.
The HistoricalsThe Mets have been strong against other NL East rivals, but that hasn’t extended to the Phillies, who lead the season series 10-7 with two games to play. The biggest reason that the Phillies lead the season series is that they haven’t had any problems getting wins at Citi Field. In seven games in Queens this year, the Mets have just a 4-3 advantage over the Phils.
- The Phillies are 2-9 in their past 11 Saturday games.
- The Phillies are 4-1 in Smyly’s past five starts.
- The Mets are 8-1 in their past nine Saturday games.
- The Mets are 1-6 in their past seven home games.
- The under is 4-1 in the Phillies’ past five road games against a right-handed starter.
- The under is 5-1 in the Mets’ past six home games against a left-handed starter.
Dan’s pickPhiladelphia has managed to get past Smyly’s shortcomings as a starter and get some wins with him on the mound, but I have a feeling that the Phillies’ luck is going to run out there. After all, Smyly hasn’t been winning with dominant stuff on the mound; he just happened to be fortunate that the offense stepped up in a spot where it hasn’t for most of the year. Contrast that with New York, where Stroman is pitching well for the most part and seems to have adjusted to facing NL hitters. That’s a good combination, and it’s why I feel comfortable backing him and New York to get a win over Philadelphia.
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