Mets at Phillies – MLB Pick for August 10th
The New York Mets are in Philadelphia to face the Phillies tonight for game one of a four game series. The matchup features two teams with no playoff aspirations this season. Both teams have failed to compete this year in the National League East Division. The pitching matchup will feature the lone bright spot on the year for the Mets, Jacob deGrom (12-5 3.36 ERA) facing off against the Phillies Vince Velasquez (2-6 4.82 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philly.
The Philadelphia Phillies knew coming into the season they would not be competing for a playoff spot. In the midst of a multi-year rebuilding process, the Phillies are looking towards the future. With this mindset, it has been very tough for this version of the Phillies to compete to win games. At 42-69, Philadelphia has the worst record in the entire Major Leagues.
They have been reasonably hot over the last several games as they have won eight out of their last thirteen games, quite the feat for a team with very limited talent. Tonight’s starter Vince Velasquez has been a good representation of this entire Phillies season, young and hungry with flashes of brilliance and lots of slip ups along the way. Two starts ago against Atlanta, Velasquez went seven shutout innings in a no decision. The start before that against Houston? He got blown out of the game after giving up four runs in just over three innings of work. It’s great to see the Phillies get lots of playing time for young guys like Velasquez but you wonder how long it’s going to be until they are able to compete again. If I had to take a guess, I would say it’s going to be a while as they haven’t done much but lose during this most recent rebuild and they don’t seem to be acquiring too much young talent along the way.
The New York Mets came into the season with hopes of another playoff run. With a scary good starting rotation that featured Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Jacob deGrom, the Mets looked like a team to beat in the National League. And that is just what happened this year, they got beat, a lot. Syndergaard is still great but can’t stay healthy and missed almost the entire season with an injury. Harvey? He seems to have lost everything that made him a huge star in Gotham and is seeing his career and personal life spiral out of control. Harvey missed a start earlier this season after partying all night and missing practice. Tonight’s starter deGrom? He has been the one beacon of hope in New York this year.
deGrom has been fantastic and is showing everyone why he deserves to be treated like one of the true aces in the National League. Before dropping his last two starts against the borderline unbeatable Los Angeles Dodgers and the streaking Seattle Mariners, deGrom had won eight consecutive starts. That is quite the accomplishment for a team that hasn’t been able to string together wins much this year. deGrom’s 170 Ks is second to only Max Scherzer in the National League, and his ERA of 3.36 is top ten.
Against tonight’s foe, the Philadelphia Phillies, deGrom has been especially nasty. He has a lifetime 5-0 record and the second lowest batting average against any team he has faced in his career at .207, to put it simply, deGrom owns the Phillies. In his two starts against Philly, this year deGrom is 2-0 with 13 innings pitched and 24 strike outs, giving up only three earned runs.
I don’t generally like to bet a game late in the season between two bad teams. When neither team is competing, it is hard to say who is going to show up for a game. That being said, Jacob deGrom has been showing up all season long for this struggling Mets team and is just too good in this matchup against the 29th best offense in the Majors. The Mets have had struggles recently scoring runs, scoring only 2.4 runs over their last thirteen games, so I have to stay away from the run line tonight. I will lay a little more wood than I like tonight and take the road favorite Mets in Philly at -145. If the Mets hadn’t been so putrid on offense recently that line would be -220 considering deGrom’s dominance, so I do see a lot of value in this spot.