Can the Philadelphia Phillies regroup? Or is this as good as it gets?
That’s the question bettors have about this underachieving team as the New York Mets come in for a three-game series beginning Friday night.
Jacob deGrom will pitch for New York; Spencer Howard will be on the mound for Philadelphia.
This will be a watch-and-wait deal for bettors. The Phillies were in a long rain delay at the start of Thursday’s scheduled Game 3 matchup with the Baltimore Orioles. They lost.
This will have a major effect on the moneyline at NJ online sports betting sites. Watch the betting lines after Thursday’s game (odds below as of 1:30 p.m. Aug. 14).
Mets vs Phillies Game 1 odds (Friday, Aug. 14)
|Game 1: Mets (9-11) vs. Phillies (5-9)||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet||PointsBet|
U 8.5 (-107)
U 8.5 (-115)
U 8.5 (-115)
U 8.5 (-115)
O 8.5 (-113)
O 8.5 (-105)
O 8.5 (+100)
O 8.5 (-105)
Where the Phillies stand
The Phillies lost a home series to the visiting Orioles. The Mets split a four-game set with the Washington Nationals, winning the last two.
The Phillies bullpen has allowed 21 runs in the last 11 innings, including seven in three innings Thursday night.
In-game and over-under bettors, that’s an important angle. It is likely the Phillies bullpen will be used in the mid- to late innings here.
Bettors view the runs line, giving 1.5 runs, as a value if the moneyline wager is too high. It might be with deGrom, who is often near -200.
It makes even more sense to Mets bettors because the team is 1-3 in one-run games in their 9-11 start. When they have won, they have won big.
The Mets prevailed on opening day 1-0 and haven’t won a single game by one run since. That’s 19 additional games. Are they due to win a close one soon?
The Phillies entered Thursday with a single one-run victory this season. It came against the New York Yankees last week. They had also dropped two straight one-run games to Baltimore.
Scheduling oddities and more
The teams have been playing very few three-game sets this year. Two- and four-game matchups have accompanied the 2020 campaign.
That said, the Mets have one three-game series win to their credit. The Phillies? Zero.
Another intangible for this Mets vs. Phillies matchup? Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil was carted off the field after slamming against the left-field fence to make a run-saving catch in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Nationals.
McNeil was unable to return to the dugout under his own power. The Mets’ batting leader last season, McNeil was hitting .293 in 17 games in 2020.
This is important to note both for Mets and over-under bettors if he is out of the lineup.
Who is pitching for the Mets vs. Phillies on Friday?
Howard (0-1, 7.71 ERA) will be making just his second career start.
Last Sunday, in the second game of a doubleheader, Howard allowed four runs, including two home runs, in 4 2/3 innings of a loss to the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets tabbed an ace, deGrom, as their starter.
This is how good deGrom has been so far: He has a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA and a sterling 0.95 WHIP (base runners allowed per inning) through four starts.
A power pitcher, deGrom has 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. He had a monstrous 255 strikeouts in 204 innings last year.
Like some power pitchers, however, deGrom has developed a blister problem on his pitching hand. That has limited him to between five and six innings for most of his starts.
Key betting factors for Mets vs. Phillies Game 1
The betting key in this game, in which Philadelphia should be an underdog, is whether the Phillies can drive deGrom’s pitch count high enough to shorten his night.
That means taking pitches, fouling-off deliveries and not swinging at the first offering.
The Mets, like the Phillies, are an up-and-down team. They stand at 9-11 after their four-game home split with the Washington Nationals.
New York has suffered some extraordinary meltdowns after coughing up ninth-inning leads with literally one strike remaining before a victory. They were beaten by double-digit runs the next game each time.
The Mets have played a full third of their 60-game season.
Both the Phillies and Mets have shown an absence of character.
The Phillies lost their recent series to the Baltimore Orioles, and bettors have to decide if these games are an omen for the rest of the season.
Phillies’ woes on offense
Philadelphia has wasted some excellent hitting by Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorious. They have also wasted good starting pitching from Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin on their recent homestand.
The 10-9 loss they suffered Tuesday to the Baltimore Orioles was their most disheartening of the season. Homers by Harper and Jean Segura had given them a 6-5 lead entering the ninth.
But closer Hector Neris blew the save and, with the score 6-6 in the ninth, the Phillies dropped a bases-loaded popup that produced two runs.
Commentator Ricky Botallico, a former Phillie, called the game “an embarrassment to baseball.”
But it was not an embarrassment to the in-game bettors of over 9.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook in this game.
One night later, the Phillies could not gain redemption. They were nudged by the Birds 5-4 and fell into last place in the National League East. The most frustrating aspect for Philadelphia was Eflin recording a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings.
As forecast here Tuesday, Eflin was able to stretch out beyond his previous four-inning stint and made it all the way through six. But the shaky Phillies bullpen gave up another run, and the team could not come all the way back.
The Orioles, projected for only 21 wins at DraftKings Sportsbook, left town with nearly half of them in their pocket.