By: Ron Patrick
Philly got this series to even Saturday with an 8-7 victory, winning on a Kevin Frandsen pinch-hit homer in the ninth after closer Jonathan Papelbon blew the save in the top of the inning.
The Phillies won as -115 favorites on Saturday's MLB betting line, and the game, much to our delight, played OVER its total of nine.
So these teams get to play a series rubber match Sunday afternoon (1:35 pm ET).
Sunday's Betting Lines
Most books we sampled Sunday morning were listing New York with Matt Harvey at around -125 over Philly and John Lannan, with an OVER/UNDER of seven.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Harvey (6-1, 2.16), by our tough standards, is 11/15 on quality starts this season, and working on a string of three in a row. Last time out he gave up three runs in seven innings vs. the Braves, striking out 13, and over his last three starts he's allowed five ER in 21 innings, with four walks and 26 whiffs.
For the season Harvey has given up just 71 hits in 104 innings, walked 23 and struck out 115.
The Mets, a team that's 13 games under .500 overall, are 9-6 in Harvey's starts.
Harvey has started once earlier this season against Philly, giving up one run on three hits through seven innings of a 7-2 New York victory back in early April. In two starts last season vs. the Phillies Harvey held them to just three runs on seven hits through 13 1/3 innings, although the Mets could only manage a split of those two games.
Lefty Lannan (0-1, 5.49) will be making his fifth start of this season for Philly, his second since coming off the DL because of a leg injury. Last time out he held Washington to two runs through five innings Monday, but the bullpen blew his chance at a W in a game the Phillies eventually won 5-4.
Before he got hurt Lannan went 2/3 on quality starts, and has really only had one bad outing this year.
For the season Lannan has allowed 22 hits in 19 2/3 innings, walked three and struck out 11.
This will be Lannan's first start against the Mets since he held them scoreless through 5 2/3 innings pitching for Washington last September.
Our Take on Sunday's Game
Harvey is a horse, and New York has a winning record this year against left-handed pitching. So we'll go with the Mets for our free MLB pick for Sunday.
By: Ron Patrick
New York took the opener of this series Friday night 4-3, rallying from a 3-0 deficit off of Cole Hamels and getting a quality start out of Jeremy Hefner.
The Mets won as +170 Mlb odds underdogs Friday night, and the game played UNDER its total of 7.5.
So New York has won four of its last five games, while Philly has lost four of its last six, heading into Game 2 of this series Saturday afternoon (4:05 pm ET).
Saturday's Betting Odds
Most books we sampled Saturday morning opened Philly and Jonathan Pettibone at around -120 over New York and Dillon Gee, then dropped the Phillies about a nickel, to -115. And the total sat at 8.5.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Pettibone (3-3, 4.40), by our strict standards, is only 4/11 on quality starts this year, and just one for his last five. Last time out Pettibone got rung for six ER and 10 hits in three innings by the Rockies, and just before that he gave up four ER in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Brewers.
On the season Pettibone has allowed 72 hits in 61 1/3 innings, and his K/BB ratio is weak, at 38/21. Somehow, though, Philly has won seven of his 11 starts.
In his one career start vs. the Mets back on April 27 Pettibone gave up three ER and seven hits in five innings of a 9-4 Phillies victory.
Gee (5-7, 4.66) is only 5/14 on quality starts this year, but four for his last four. Last time out Gee held Atlanta scoreless into the ninth inning, only to give up a game-losing two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in a 2-1 loss. And just before that he limited the Cardinals to one run through 6 2/3 innings. Over his last four starts Gee has given up five ER through 29 1/3 innings; the Mets won three of those four games.
For the season Gee has allowed 93 hits in 79 innings, walked 21 and struck out 69. New York lost four of Gee's first five starts this year, but has won six of his last nine outings.
Gee has started twice earlier this season against Philly, giving up 11 ER in nine innings of two Mets losses. Last year Gee started twice vs. the Phillies, allowing six ER through 12 1/3 innings; New York split those two games.
Philly got back IF Chase Utley Friday, after he spent over a month on the DL with a strained oblique.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
We're not sure who's going to win this game; Pettibone has struggled lately, while Gee has had a tough time with the Phillies. So instead of going with a side on this game, we'll go with the OVER for our free MLB pick for Saturday.
By: Ron Patrick
Some followers of the national past-time, including your humble correspondent, thought the Philadelphia Phillies might jump back into contention in the NL East this season, after missing the playoffs in an injury-ravaged 2012. Instead, Philly is three games under .500.
Is Philly worth betting this weekend or do we fade 'em, and bet the Mets?
Friday's Mets-Phillies Betting Odds
Most baseball betting outlets we shopped Friday morning were listing Philly and Cole Hamels at around -170 over New York and Jeremy Hefner, with an OVER/UNDER of 7.5 runs.
Also, The Greek online sportsbook was chalking Philadelphia at -135 to win this series, with the Mets getting +115.
Mets-Phillies Series Set-Up
Philly just took two of three games at home from Washington, missing out on the sweep by losing 6-2 in 11 innings Wednesday. Closer Jonathan Papelbon blew the save Monday, although the Phillies managed to win that game, then blew another on Wednesday, leading to defeat.
Still, the Phils broke a three-series losing streak, despite Papelbon's first two blown saves of the season.
Offensively, the Phillies are just not doing enough, ranking 25th in the Majors at just 3.7 runs per game.
New York, meanwhile, just took three of five games – yes, 3 of 5 – in Atlanta this week, winning Thursday's series finale 4-3. However, that was the first series the Mets had won since that unlikely four-game sweep of the Yankees three weeks ago.
New York has been playing some low-scoring games lately; thanks to some decent pitching and the usual mediocre work with the bats eight of the Mets last 10 games have seen seven or fewer runs scored.
For the season New York ranks 22nd at 3.9 runs per game, and ranks right near the bottom in many other offensive categories.
And yet the Mets are 35-30 on the OVER/UNDERS, including 18-11 on the road.
So, heading into the weekend the Phillies, at 35-38, are in third place in the NL East, 7.5 games behind the first-place Braves, while the Mets, at 28-41, are five games further back.
Philly leads this season series five games to one; but last year the Mets won the season series 10-8.
Fridays' Pitching Match-Up
Hamels (2-10, 4.40) is 10/15 on quality starts this season, and three for his last three, but has very little to show for it. Last time out Hamels held the Rockies to three runs through seven innings, but Philly lost 5-2. Just before that he gave up two runs in six innings of a 3-2 Phillies loss to Minnesota. Throw in his win vs. Miami just before that and Hamels has allowed just six ER over his last 20 IP, walking three while striking out 23.
For the season Hamels has allowed 91 hits in 94 innings, walked 28 and whiffed 89.
But Philly is a miserable 2-13 in Hamels' starts this season, losing games by scores of 2-1, 4-3, 2-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-2.
One of the Phillies' victories for Hamels this season came against the Mets, a 5-1 decision back on April 28 in which Hamels allowed one run and two hits through six innings.
Last year Hamels started four times against New York, giving up 12 ER and 26 hits through 28 innings; Philly won three of those four games.
Hefner (1-6, 3.96) is 6/13 on quality starts this season, but he's also been the victim of both some poor run support and, lately, some bad glovework. Last time out Hefner gave up three runs, just one earned, through five innings against the Cubs, and just before that he got booked for six runs in six innings vs. the Cardinals, although five of those runs were unearned, thanks to a couple of Mets errors.
Over his last five starts Hefner has actually only allowed eight ER through 30 innings, dropping his season ERA more than a run.
For the season Hefner has given up 72 hits in 75 innings, walked 23 and struck out 56. But the 12 homers have caused some problems.
New York is just 2-11 in Hefner's starts this year, a record that includes losses by scores of 3-2, 2-1 and 3-2.
In his only start previously this season against Philadelphia Hefner got nicked for five runs in three innings of a 7-3 New York loss back in early April.
Last year Hefner made three appearances vs. the Phillies; one went well, the other two did not. Overall Hefner threw 7 1/3 innings against Philly last year, giving up 17 hits and 13 ER. Ouch.
The OVER/UNDERS are 9-4 in Hefner's starts this year, but 5-9 in Hamels' starts.
In the battle of the bullpens for this series New York ranks 27th with a 4.38 ERA and has converted just 12 of 22 save opportunities, while Philadelphia ranks dead last with a 4.63 ERA but has converted 15 of 22 save opps.
Check out our Mlb odds page for a comprehensive look at all the odds~
Mets-Phillies Betting Trends
New York has actually been a better team on the road this season, going 14-18, than at home, where it's 14-23.
Philly is 18-16 at home.
Games played at the Bank this season have gone 21-12 on the OVER/UNDERS.
The Mets, a team that's 13 games under .500 overall, are 12-11 vs. left-handed starting pitching this season.
Our Take on Friday's Game
The bats are a wash in this match-up, as are the bullpens. Both starting pitchers have thrown in some tough luck this season, Hamels more so than Hefner. But while we like Philly to win the opener of this series at home, we're not fond of the price. So we'll gamble a little and take the Phillies on the run line for our free MLB pick for Friday.