Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Moneyline: PHI +105/NYM -115
Series: PHI -110/NYM -120
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: SNY, ESPN
Probable pitchers: Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (1-1, 4.96 ERA)
If it feels like the Mets just played the Phillies, that's because they indeed did, when the latter took two of three in Philadelphia last week. Monday's contest begins another three-game set, this time at Citi Field.
Matz won't be able to do any worse than how he fared in the previous series -- so long as there's an out recorded -- as he failed to retire even one batter last Tuesday. Ultimately, eight runs (six earned) went to his name while his ERA soared from 1.65 to 4.96.
This isn't the first time Matz didn't make it beyond one inning. Nor was it the second. Those previous experiences can be used, however, to help determine the left-hander's outlook this evening with where he's at mentally, although it doesn't point to a favorable projection.
Matz was the primary victim of last year's infamous 25-4 beatdown at the hands of the Nationals, getting yanked in the first. He also managed only an inning in an ugly 2017 start in Colorado. In the two ensuing assignments, Matz wasn't very good either, yielding a combined nine runs (seven earned) across seven total innings.
Against the Phils, Matz is a career 0-3 to go with a 5.96 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in six starts. Considering this is a team that scores the fifth-most runs per game (5.52) in baseball and ranks 10th in team OPS (.817) opposite lefties, it looks like another rocky night is ahead for the 27-year-old.
Unlike his counterpart, Arrieta actually had a nice showing in his first meeting of the year with tonight's opponent. That came last Wednesday afternoon in the series finale, with the former NL Cy Young winner limiting the Mets to two runs over eight sharp innings.
It was another sensational outing for Arrieta, who has begun his campaign with four quality starts in as many tries. There may be a fifth one on tap considering his history with the Mets, posting a 2.33 ERA and 1.04 WHIP against in 11 career meetings spanning 73.1 innings.
How I Would Bet This Game
While Matz has actually been able to tame both Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins (combined 5-for-27), his track record in these spots indicates he can't be trusted to bet on. At the same time, given Arrieta's current hot streak, it may not be as simple as betting Over 8.5, especially with New York scoring only 16 runs in their last five games. Thus, I'm going to advise betting the Phillies (+105) in this series opener.
Should You Bet The Series?
Despite losing six of eight, the Mets are the favored team to prevail here but they don't appear to be the smarter bet. Philadelphia has looked like the NL East's most consistent team in the early going, and with more tempting odds, it might be a good idea to wager on the Phils (-105), should you must have action on the series.