The Mets have the possibility to pick up a big sweep over a divisional team this afternoon with a win. We’ll preview the matchup before going over why I’ll be targeting a play for the first five innings.
It's been low scoring through the first two games of this series, with a combined seven runs being scored up to this point. After shutting out the Phillies in game one, the Mets turned around and held them to one run last night, with a solid six-inning start from Carlos Carrasco and three shutout innings from the bullpen. The Mets' offense only recorded five hits, but it was enough to get the job done, as Mark Canha managed to drive in all four runs for New York’s offense.
Looking to get their third straight solid pitching performance, the Mets will turn to Max Scherzer to make his ninth start. In 40.7 innings, the veteran has pitched to a 3.54 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 13 walks. Scherzer has turned in three straight quality starts and picked up a win his last time out, throwing seven innings with eight strikeouts and one earned run allowed.
The right-hander will take on a Phillies offense that outhit the Mets last night despite losing but did strikeout ten times. Philadelphia left 16 runners on base in the game, with the only offensive bright spot coming from an Edmundo Sosa solo home run. Last night marked the fourth straight game in which the Phillies struck out at least ten times, which is not a good streak to be on when playing back-to-back divisional series.
Getting the ball for Philadelphia this afternoon will be former Met, Taijuan Walker. The big right-hander has thrown 53.3 innings up to this point and has a 5.57 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 23 walks. Despite allowing ten hits in 6 ⅔ innings, Walker got the win in his most recent outing, as he allowed three earned runs while striking out one.
The Mets F5 run-line of (-.5) is currently priced at (-122), and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Philadelphia has been the league's least profitable F5 ATS team this season; that’s right, even worse than the A’s. When playing on the road, the Phillies are 10-21 ATS in the first five innings, and two of those losses came during this series.
The Phillies were 14th in wRC+, 14th in wOBA, and 17th in OPS against righties on the road during May. They’ll now take on a pitcher in Max Scherzer, that is in the 80th percentile in expected batting average, 68th percentile in hard hit percentage, and 54th percentile in strikeout percentage. The righty has also not allowed an earned run in 11 innings at Citi Field this season.
New York was 6th in wRC+, 8th in wOBA, and 9th in OPS against right-handed pitching at home in May, and now they’ll face a starter they are quite familiar with. Taijuan Walker is in the 39th percentile in expected batting average, 37th percentile in expected slugging percentage, and has a 6.75 ERA in road games. Additionally, he has a 5.14 ERA or higher in four of the first five innings.
New York Mets F5 (-.5)(-122)