After a surprising pitcher’s duel between Ranger Suarez and Kodai Senga, the Phillies and Mets will write another chapter in the story of their rivalry on Wednesday night. Let’s take a look at the odds for this divisional clash, where my prediction is that the over will hit in a Phillies win.
Phillies Vs. Mets Prediction
With game 1 of the season series between these longtime rivals in the books, it’s time to look ahead to the next matchup, where both teams will enter still looking for their identity in 2023. Both the Mets and Phillies were viewed as top-tier contenders before the season, and for good reason- the Amazin’s have the league’s highest payroll, while Philly, the defending NL champions, are fourth on that list.
Instead, both teams have been profoundly average by most standards. The Mets are tied for second in the division with the Marlins, just a game over .500, while the Phils, 4 games below .500, are a spot behind. Both teams are worse than league average in both runs scored and allowed, with the best unit between the two being the Mets’ 16th-ranked scoring offense, and both squads have a negative run differential.
Of course, it’s still extremely early in the season, and both teams still have plenty of time to chase their lofty goals. This series is a big one; a rivalry like this one is a great test for your team, and their mental fortitude. The first matchup was lower-scoring than the pitching matchup might have implied, Kodai Senga has been solid but was absolutely lights-out and Ranger Suárez put in a rare strong outing.
This starting matchup is interesting as well- two starters who have had great success not too long ago, but are struggling this year. Aaron Nola had started stabilizing a bit, but is coming off of a tough start, while Carlos Carrasco has been a total dumpster fire- even after a strong last performance with 6.2 IP and only a run allowed, his season ERA is 6.75.
Even after the low-scoring duel in game 1, I have to go with the over in a pitching matchup like this one. For the moneyline, it’s hard to invest in Carrasco right now, and I believe that the Philly offense will begin to experience some positive regression sooner rather than later.
Phillies Vs. Mets Prediction: Phillies ML (-130), o8.5 runs (-115)
Phillies Vs. Mets Odds
The Phillies are -130 road favorites, while the Mets are +110 at home. For a run total of 8.5, the over is -115 and the under is -105.
Phillies Vs. Mets Key Matchups
Carlos Carrasco vs. True Outcome Hitters
Carrasco’s walks and home runs per 9 are both up through 5 starts this season, while his hits allowed rate is actually down. Keeping the ball in the strike zone and in the park will be priorities for him against Philly, against an offense that is 22nd in the league or worse in both homers and walks.
Kyle Schwarber is one of the best examples you can find of a true outcome hitter. He’s hitting just .166, but has an OBP of .319 due to 39 walks. He also leads the team by a wide margin with 13 home runs, so despite his early lack of all-around production, he is still an extremely dangerous bat when he squares the ball up.
Bryce Harper is obviously another name to consider, he’s a much better contact bat than Schwarber but he also walks at a similar rate, no surprise for a seasoned veteran hitter. He hasn’t really hit for power yet this year, but it’ll come- the two-time MVP is one of the best power bats of the current era, and is always liable to tie into one.
Brandon Marsh, who’s having a surprisingly nice start to the year, has also done a good job of working the count and picking up walks as the gap between his batting average and on-base percentage is 103 points. He doesn’t necessarily put the ball out of the park, but he’s hitting the ball hard and showing some solid gap power.
The mismatch between these bats and Carrasco in his current state is a key reason I have the road team hitting the -130 moneyline in my Phillies vs. Mets prediction, as well as the over hitting for a total of 8.5 runs.
Aaron Nola vs. On-Base Threats
Nola has also uncharacteristically struggled this Spring. After leading the league in strikeout to walk ratio last season (8.10), that number has been more than cut in half in 2023 (to 4.00) as his strikeout rate has plummeted and his league-best walk rate has skyrocketed.
The Mets offense is actually pretty solid when it comes to getting on base and putting the ball in play. They’re 12th in team OBP, and only two teams have accumulated fewer strikeouts thus far. Leading the charge have been Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil, who are at the top of the team leaderboard when it comes to OBP with figures of .385 and .367, respectively.
Interestingly enough, Daniel Vogelbach is next on that list, despite home runs (2 in 104 at bats) being a complete non-factor for him this season. Despite having about half as many at bats as the likes of McNeil and Nimmo, he’s just five walks away from the team lead, a testament to what a tough out he can be.
Pete Alonso isn’t walking too much, but he’s also not striking out as much as you might expect given the track record of other prolific power bats. He currently leads all of baseball with 20 big flies, and will unquestionably be Nola’s biggest test each time through the lineup.
Phillies Vs. Mets Starting Lineups
Phillies Starting Lineup
2B B. Stott L
SS T. Turner R
DH B. Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
LF K. Schwarber L
C J. Realmuto R
1B A. Bohm R
CF B. Marsh L
3B E. Sosa R
Mets Starting Lineup
CF B. Nimmo L
C F. Alvarez R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH D. Vogelbach L
RF S. Marte R
3B J. McNeil L
LF T. Pham R
3B E. Escobar S