The New York Mets will try to complete a sweep of the rival Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. After outscoring the Phillies 14-1 over the first two games of the series, the Mets are -112 favorites to win Wednesday’s game at home.
Wins the last two days have moved the Mets into first place in the tight NL East. New York’s win on Tuesday secured the Mets their first series win since sweeping the Marlins on the first three days of April. The Mets had won just two of their last eight heading into this series, but back-to-back wins have them on track and at the top of the division.
The Phillies, meanwhile, were in first place when the series began on Monday but have tumbled backward. After losing their series finale to the Rockies on Sunday as well, Philadelphia has now dropped three in a row, scoring a total of two runs in those three games. Nevertheless, a win on Wednesday can bring them even with the Mets at the top of the division.
The Only One
Outside of Jake Arrieta, Wednesday’s starter Vince Velasquez is the only pitcher in Philadelphia’s rotation who’s had a positive start to the season. In three starts and one relief appearance, he owns a 2.55 ERA, giving up just five runs over 17.2 innings. Even when he was pitching at Coors Field last week, Velasquez faired well, so the Phillies should feel good about him giving them a chance to break out of their slump.
That being said, Velasquez doesn’t have a good history against the Mets. Current Mets hitters are hitting a combined .327 with a 1.137 OPS against Velasquez. Michael Conforto has done the most damage, going 6 for 12 with three home runs against him. He’s also been one of New York’s best hitters all season. Meanwhile, rookie Pete Alonso remains hot, veteran Robinson Cano is starting to heat up over the past week, and Todd Frazier has returned from the IL, hitting a grand slam on Tuesday, so the Mets should be a stiff challenge for Velasquez.
Of course, the Mets will send the weak link in their rotation, Jason Vargas, to the mound on Wednesday. Vargas has allowed 11 runs on 17 hits over just 10.1 innings this season. The lefty has also walked more batters than he’s struck out this season, so his control has been off, which is a bad sign for a soft-tosser who needs to hit his spots. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Vargas is coming off his best outing of the season. Of course, his best was simply allowing one run over four innings, which may be the best the Mets can hope to get on Wednesday.
The other silver lining is that the Philadelphia lineup is ice cold at the moment. As mentioned, the Phillies have scored just two runs in their last three games. It doesn’t help to have Jean Segura and Odubell Herrera on the IL at the moment. Outside of J.T. Realmuto, Maikel Franco, and Cesar Hernandez, no one in Philadelphia’s lineup seems to be in rhythm at the moment.
Not So Fast
The Mets will like their chances of getting a sweep after the last two games, but Vargas isn’t trustworthy at this point. The Phillies may be struggling offensively, but facing Vargas offers them a chance to snap out of their funk. Bet on Philadelphia to pull the mini-upset and avoid the sweep by winning Wednesday.