This is what the offseason fuss was about.
The upcoming seven-game summit between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets (three games in New York this weekend and four at Citizens Bank Park next weekend) is where the rubber meets the road.
It is where the anticipation New Jersey bettors built while these teams fortified their 2022 rosters gets tested.
The Early Verdict On The MLB Season
Mets bettors (ecstatic with the addition of Mighty Max Scherzer, three-time American League Manager of the Year Buck Showalter, and speedster Starling Marte) have been rewarded already.
The Mets, pegged at an over-under of 91 wins at DraftKings Sportsbook, have a gaudy 14-6 record. That’s a .700 clip, one of the best in baseball, and it’s without Jacob deGrom, out for at least the first month of the season.
They have not lost a series, going six-for-six. And some New Jersey bettors feasted, doubling down on their bets after the deGrom injury dropped their projected total to 88.5.
The Phillies are just finding themselves. Still trying to get north of .500 after DraftKings put them over-under 86.5 wins.
But the team that picked up Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to back reigning MVP Bryce Harper is finally starting to hit.
The Phils totaled 25 runs in the first three games of their series against the Colorado Rockies. It was their first series win against a team with a winning record.
Does that momentum continue? How much will this seven-game matchup set the tone in the National League East?
MLB Futures At NJ Sportsbooks
Here is what NJ sportsbooks say now:
At DraftKings, the odds to win the National League East:
- Mets -140
- Phillies +700
To win the National League pennant:
- Mets +425 (second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Phillies +1600
Odds to win the World Series:
- Mets +850
- Phillies +3000
Odds to make the playoffs:
- Mets -550
- Phillies +145
Caesars has a few tweaks amid relatively similar odds. Although backers of the Mets and Phillies will find these prices less attractive, the odds reflect multiple-book respect for the Mets and long-shot odds for the Phillies.
To win the National League East:
- Mets -140
- Phillies +650
- Mets +430
- Phillies +1300
- Mets +800
- Phillies +2500
Mets And Phillies’ Recent Results
The Mets return from a 4-2 road trip featuring 2-1 series wins against the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies are in the midst of their best offensive output, but they still haven’t won a series on the road. They face a Mets team that did it twice in one week.
Projected pitching matchups, according to MLB.com (subject to change):
Phillies: Aaron Nola, who’s 1-2 so far with a 3.74 ERA. He won their Opening Day game but hasn’t earned a victory in three subsequent starts.
Mets: Tylor Megill, a pleasant surprise at 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA. Megill averages about a strikeout an inning, but has cut way down on his walks. He strikes out seven for every batter walked instead of three last year. That’s why he’s winning.
Pete Alonso has the best performance of any Mets player against Nola. He is hitting .355 with three home runs. This will be a strong betting consideration either for a home run or total-bases wager.
No Phillies have an extensive performance background against Megill.
Kyle Gibson of the Phillies faces Tajuan Walker, who returns from a two-week bout with bursitis. Walker was 0-8 with a 7.13 ERA in the second half last year. Gibson is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.47 this season.
Sunday, it’s Zach Efflin of the Phillies, 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA, facing Mighty Max. The presence of Scherzer at the end of a series puts pressure on opposing teams to win the first two games.
Mighty Max Is Money Max
The Mets have paid a premium for Max Scherzer. For the moment, they are ecstatic.
Look at these glittering numbers:
- ERA: 1.80
- WHIP: 0.76
- Ten strikeouts in each of his last two outings.
- Two runs allowed in his last 19 innings.
But how can gamblers maximize Scherzer? Do you want to lay -180 to -240 every time he pitches? Or give the 1.5 runs?
No, the series betting or taking a crack at the Mets being ahead after five innings when he pitches usually end up in the playable range.
Other Phillies-Mets Betting Options
This is a real good one to consider, not only for the Phillies-Mets matchup, but for many around the league. Bets must be placed before the first game. Some leaguewide matchups will have prohibitive odds, but a few will be playable.
The Mets just paid off twice for a few New Jersey bettors in their recent road series. They were even money (+100 at DraftKings) to win the overall series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
They were also +150 to prevail exactly two games to one, which they did. Mets backers who nailed the series score were happy when New York was beaten 10-5 in the series finale after it had won the first two games.
That’s a nice payoff, being able to collect twice on one series. And it’s not ridiculously complicated.
MLB betting insight
Many (not all, of course) three-game sets between teams of relatively even ability will end two games to one. Teams beaten in the first two games of a three-game set will show up in the third contest. It’s not unusual to hit the series result and the correct score.
The angle probably does not fit elite teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have both authored recent sweeps.
The Dodgers took down the Cincinnati Reds 4-0, while the Giants put the broom to the Cleveland Guardians and Washington Nationals, both on the road.
In the big-picture sense, however, teams more often than not won’t complete the sweep.
The Phillies provided a similar payout to New Jersey bettors in different three-game sets last week. They were beaten in the series by the host Rockies, but rallied to win the third game to make the series final 2-1.
Several New Jersey bettors reported taking the angle of the Rockies to win the series by that score. They doubled up after the Phillies trailed in Game 3, plunking down in-game money and obtaining a score when the Phillies came back.
Bettors will have more than a three-game and four-game series to consider with the Phillies and Mets. They can enjoy a fun spectacle, seven games in 10 days, between two popular teams in the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania betting corridor.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon