MLB Picks: Mets - Philies Series Openes WIll Light Up The Score Boards

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 18, 2016 2:04 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 18, 2016 2:04 PM UTC

Jerad Eickhoff is off to an unrealistically fast start for the Phillies so look for regression after the Mets busted out of their hitting slump, keying an ‘over’ MLB Pick at this low total.


MLB Record: 8-7, +2.08

New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
There could be a higher scoring game than the posted total suggests Monday night as the visiting team that busted out of a batting slump this weekend can put up runs on the home starter that has overachieved so far when Noah Syndergaard and the suddenly hot bats of the New York Mets (5-6, 3-2 away) pay a visit to upstart fellow righty Jerad Eickhoff and the Philadelphia Phillies (6-7, 4-3 home) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET on SNY.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 7 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over’ set at -110.


Mets Offense Better on the Road
The defending National League Champion Mets are off to a slow start at 5-6 while ranking 25th in the Major Leagues in batting at .220 and 23rd in runs scored at 3.36 per game, but they busted out in a three-game series in Cleveland this past weekend scoring 6, 5 and 6 runs respectively while pounding out a total of 31 hits. Perhaps New York is simply more relaxed on the road, as the Mets are now averaging 4.40 runs per game away from Citi Field.

The Phillies are surprisingly in second place in the National League East at 6-7 percentage points ahead of the Mets, but do not look for that to continue for a team most experts expect to repeat its last-place finish of last season. Philadelphia was the losing MLB pick in the first two games of a three-game weekend series vs. Washington here at home before salvaging the series finale 3-2 yesterday with a two-run 10th inning rally after the Nationals scored in the top half.


Is Eickhoff for Real?
Eickhoff has been a pleasant surprise for the Phillies thus far, as he made his seasonal debut vs. these Mets in New York where he allowed two earned runs on five hits in five innings, and he then followed up with a gem vs. the San Diego Padres allowing just four hits over seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts vs. not a single walk. Keep in mind though that the San Diego offense has struggled all year and the Mets were not hitting well before that first matchup.

Things could be different for Eickhoff in this rematch however with the New York offense apparently finding its groove, and remember that Eickhoff is almost certainly not as good as his early numbers anyway. This is not to say that Eickhoff does not have a bright future, because he does, but regression from that insane last start seems inevitable, especially since his good 3.60 xFIP last season was still almost a full run higher than his deceptive 2.65 ERA.

And although the sampling for this year is limited at just 12 innings, his 1.50 ERA still dwarfs his early 3.37 xFIP, so the ERA should converge toward the xFIP eventually. And once the bullpen gets involved, the Mets can score even more runs off of a Philadelphia pen ranked 26th in the Major Leagues with a 5.06 ERA.

No Doubt Syndergaard is Real Deal
Syndergaard has similar numbers as Eickhoff through two starts as he has a 0.69 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through 13 innings and Noah was dominant vs. the Marlins last time out, allowing one run in seven innings with 12 strikeouts vs. just one walk. The difference between these two hurlers though is that Syndergaard was projected for greatness this season, so his fast start is no surprise.

However, if the Mets get to Eickhoff like we expect, necessitating an early call to the dreadful Philadelphia bullpen, then Syndergaard may not even need to allow many runs here for this game to go ‘over’ this modest total, and he did allow two runs while only going five innings the last time he faced the Phillies last August right here in this stadium.

It also bears mentioning that Syndergaard has had rather discernable home vs. away splits since first coming up to the majors last season, posting a 3.88 ERA and 1.28 WHIP while allowing a .248 batting average on the road, compared to a 2.37 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a .202 batting average allowed back home in Flushing.


An ‘over’ Dominated Series for Several Years
Finally, this head-to-head series has been dominated by the ‘over’ for quite a while, as it has gone 60-25-5 in the last 90 meetings overall and 36-15-4 in the last 55 meetings in Philadelphia. The ‘over’ is also 30-10-1 in the Mets’ last 41 road games vs. right-handed starters, as well as 39-18-6 in the Phillies’ last 63 home games.

Given that the Mets are capable of approaching or even surpassing this total by themselves vs. Eickhoff and the terrible Phillies’ bullpen, look for those ‘over’ trends to continue for at least one more game when New York visits Philadelphia on Monday.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 7 (-120)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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