The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets open a three-game weekend series on Friday, September 7, 2018, at Citi Field in Flushing, New York.
At 73-66, Philadelphia currently trails the Atlanta Braves by three games in the National League East standings. Meanwhile, the 63-76 Mets are 13 games behind the Braves and 10 games back of the Mets as the regular season continues to wind down.
CY Young Candidate On Top Of The Mound
The Philadelphia Phillies have not won a series in a month. After sweeping the Marlins in a four-game set from August 2-5, 2018, the Phillies have won just 10 of their last 28 games without winning a series in their last nine tries. That trend continued on Wednesday as the Phillies dropped a 1-2 decision to the Marlins in Miami and give the hosts a 2-1 win in their 3 game set.
The Phillies look to turn things around as National League CY Young candidate Aaron Nola will get the start in this series opener. The 25-year-old right-hander has had an excellent season with a record of 15-4 in a total of 28 starts. The LSU product has an ERA of 2.23 with a WHIP of 0.97. Nola leads the National League in win percentage, is second in ERA and wins, third in WHIP and innings pitched (181.2) and 4th in strikeouts (188).
Uncharacteristically, Nola took a rare loss in his last start as the Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs 1-8 last September 2, 2018. He pitched 5.2 innings in that contest, giving up four earned runs on five hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts.That was the first time since June 17th against Milwaukee where Nola allowed more than three runs in a start.
Nola has started four times against the Mets this season and he has an unbeaten 3-0 record with an ERA of 1.44 against them. In a total of 25 innings pitched against the Mets, Nola has given up just four earned runs on 17 hits and 8 walks while fanning a total of 29 New York batters. The Mets are batting only .195 against Nola this season.
Philadelphia Phillies vs New York Mets 9/7/18
Odds: Phillies -155, Mets +145
Odds from Betonline.ag as of 9/6/18
Matz Pitching In September
While the Phillies have struggled as of late, the Mets have won their last two series via similar scores. After topping the San Francisco Gains 2-1 in their most recent series in San Francisco, the Mets are coming off a three-game set where they beat the Dodgers 2-1. In their most recent game, the Mets beat the Dodgers by a score of 7-3.
For the Mets, it will be Steven Matz who gets the nod to open on top of the hill. The 27-year-old left-hander has a record of 5-11 across 25 starts. The Stony Brook, New York native has an ERA of 4.20 and a WHIP of 1.27 this season.
In his last start, Matz had an all too familiar result with some of the Mets’ best hurlers: throwing a gem of an outing without getting the “w”. The lefty gave up just one run on three hits and one walk with 11 punchouts in seven solid innings of work. Although the Mets defeated the Giants 2-1 in 11 innings, Matz did not factor in the decision.
This is the first time since 2015 that he’s pitched into the month of September. Matz’s 25 starts this season is a career high for him and he might he might even pitch more than the 132.1 innings he pitched in 2016 which is the most for him in a single season. He looks to build on his last start as his Mets host the Phillies on Friday.
While the Phillies have had the better year overall, the Mets have their numbers so far this season. New York currently leads their season series 8-5 and have won 4 out of their last 6 meetings this season. Heading to this contest, the Phillies have lost four out of their last five games while the Mets have won four out of their last five outings.
The Phillies have lost just twice in Nola’s last 11 starts against National League East teams and have just dropped one of their last eleven games against teams with a losing record with Nola as their starter. On the other hand, the Mets are 2-9 in Matz’s last 11 starts against teams with a winning record and 2-5 overall in Matz’s last seven starts at home.
Aaron Nola is having a Cy Young season for the Phillies. Not only that, he has practically owned the Mets this season, giving the Phillies three out of their five wins against the Mets. Also, Nola is coming off a loss, which has been rare for him this season. He should bounce back nicely on Friday night against a team he’s dominated this year.
This game means more to the Phillies than to the Mets as far as the postseason is concerned. They need to break out of a funk to get back in the hunt. Nola has been spectacular this season while Matz has struggled overall. Likewise, Matz hasn’t pitched in the month of September since 2015 and pitching too many innings has always been a problem for the injury prone Matz.
We’re picking the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the New York Mets on 9/7/18.