Take Mets & Niese with Your MLB Picks Over Phillies Tonight

David Lawrence

Saturday, May 9, 2015 11:35 AM GMT

The Mets are leaders in the NL East, while the Phillies are at the bottom of the division & trying to figure a way out. Can the Phillies create any momentum and cash on the MLB odds?

The New York Mets Can Win Because…
They have another quality pitcher on the mound in this game, which is why Mets are a -115 road favorite on the MLB odds. Pitching is a theme with the Mets – they have a solid and deep pitching rotation, which means that from game to game, they’re going to send out a man who can get hitters out. Jonathon Niese has a solid 2.40 ERA for the Mets. He’s given up more than one earned run in only one start this season. That’s in five starts. Niese is not a dominant pitcher, but he regularly pitches out of trouble, getting the hitter he needs to retire with two men out and runners in scoring position. His last start, on May 2 against Washington, was a typical case in point. Niese allowed just one run in seven innings, scattering nine hits and pitching around them. He walked only one batter, so it’s clear that he made opposing hitters put the ball in play. It’s important to emphasize that performance was not an oddity or an outlier for Niese – it’s typical and reflective of what he’s been doing this season. It should be noted that Niese put together a very similar start on April 15 against the Philadelphia team he’s going to face on Saturday. On April 15, Niese allowed nine hits in 6 1/3 innings, but again, he gave up only one run, dancing out of trouble throughout the day. The Phillies might collect a bunch of singles, but they’re going to have a hard time coming up with the big hit against Niese and New York. The Mets’ pitching has been trustworthy throughout the season, and there’s no reason to think that will change now.

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The Philadelphia Phillies Can Win Because…
They have a pitcher who is performing every bit as well as Niese is. Aaron Harang, a veteran who has knocked around several major-league teams, has a 2.35 ERA, right there in Niese’s same neighborhood, and actually a fraction smaller than his counterpart. Harang’s ERA is from six starts, not five. He did get roughed up once against St. Louis on April 29, but other than that, he’s been really good. He threw two (non-complete-game) shutouts, and pitched two other games in which he went six innings and gave up only one run. It’s important to note that one of those one-run starts was his most recent one, on May 4 against Atlanta. Harang is able to change speeds and get great location, keeping hitters off balance. He hasn’t allowed as many hits as Niese has. He’s been able to smother opponents a little more regularly, instead of scattering eight to nine hits a game. He’s in good position to win here.

 

Outlook
The starting pitching matchup is even but after the Phillies won on Friday night, the Mets are probably going to come to the ballpark with more of an edge on Saturday. Take New York with your MLB picks here.

MLB Pick: Mets at GTBets