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The Philadelphia Phillies hit the road for a NL East showdown with the New York Mets Wednesday. It’s the final game of a three-game series between these two division-leading teams. Both teams come into the game tied for first in the division at 12-10, not counting Tuesday night’s game. Righty Vince Velasquez (0-0) gets the start for Philadelphia while left hander Jason Vargas (1-0) gets the start for the Mets. Game time is 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
Harper ejected from Game 1 of series
The Phillies lost the first game of this three-game series on Monday by a score of 5-1 to fall into a tie with the Mets in first at 12-10. The Phillies couldn’t get anything going against Mets starter Steven Matz, who gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings. Rhys Hopkins accounted for the only Philadelphia run with a solo home run. Cesar Hernandez had the only other hits as the bullpen was lights out. Bryce Harper got ejected from the game in the fourth for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout when Hernandez was at the plate. Jake Arrieta (3-2) pitched fairly well, allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, in 6 innings, but got no help from the Phillies bats and took the loss.
The Phillies have a team ERA of 4.42, which is 15th in baseball. They have a WHIP of 1.40, which is 21st. Offensively, they rank 11th in the MLB with 5.32 runs per game. They are 12th in team batting average at .252 and 14th in slugging percentage at .432. Scott Kingery leads the team with an average of .406, while Jean Segura is batting .326. Harper is hitting .272 with 5 home runs and 14 RBIs, while Hoskins is hitting .272 with 6 HRs and 18 RBIs. Also, JT Realmuto is batting .266 with 3 HRs and 17 RBIs, while Maikel Franco is hitting .263 with 6 HRs and 18 RBIs.
Vince Velasquez gets the start for the Phillies. The right-hander is 0-0 with a 2.55 ERA. He has a WHIP of 0.96 and opponents are hitting .203 against him.
Matz bounces back
The Mets finished last season out of the playoffs with a 77-85 record but 2019 has been promising so far. They are off to a 12-10 start after a 5-1 win over the Phillies Monday. It was thanks to a strong performance by Mets starter Steven Matz, who gave up just 3 hits in 6 innings for the win. The last time Matz pitched against the Phillies on April 16 he had won of the worst outings in MLB history. He gave up 8 runs without recording an out and was lifted from the game. Only a handful of pitchers in history have had that bad of an outing. It was a completely different Matz in this one as he shut down the Phillies. Jeff McNeil had 2 hits, including a home run, while Juan Lagares also had 2 hits. Pete Alonso had a hit and 2 RBIs.
Outstanding bounce-back game for #StevenMatz. Matz completed 6 innings while giving up only one earned run on three hits. @Mets win 5-1. Great night for #MetsPitching. #LGM #art #BaseballArt pic.twitter.com/ReMJVn8Age
— Richard Righter (@righterrj) April 23, 2019
The Mets have a team ERA of 5.35, which is 25th in the league. They have a 1.50 WHIP, which is 27th. Offensively, they average 5.35 runs per game, which is 9th in the MLB. They have a .261 team batting average, which is also 9th, and a slugging percentage of .432, which is 14th in baseball. Dominic Smith leads the team with an average of .435, which would lead the MLB is he had enough at-bats to qualify. McNeil is hitting .384, which is 4th in baseball, while Alonso is hitting ,325 with 8 HRs and 21 RBIs. Michael Conforto is batting .293 with 6 HRs and 13 RBIs, while Wilson Ramos is batting .292.
Jason Vargas gets the start for the Mets. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 9.58 ERA. He has a WHIP of 2.32 and opposing teams are batting a robust 3.62 against him.
- Mets are 0-4 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series.
- Phillies are 6-1 in their last 7 during game 3 of a series.
- Phillies are 7-2 in their last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- Phillies are 17-6 in their last 23 games after losing the first 2 games of a series.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Phillies here. Jason Vargas has gotten bombarded in his first few starts this year. He has an ERA of 9.58 and teams bat over .350 against him. The Phillies should feast on Vargas. On the other hand, Velasquez has been very effective this year. He has an ERA of 2.55 and opponents are only hitting about .200 against him. This should be an easy win for the Phillies and Velasquez.
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over. The Phillies bats should be unleashed against Mets starter Vargas. He has got pounded in his first few outings and it’s unlikely that he’ll get out of the 5th inning here. The numbers don’t lie. The over is 5-1-1 in Vargas’ last 7 starts vs. a team with a winning record and 4-1 in Vargas’ last 5 starts during game 3 of a series. Also, the over is 4-1 in Mets last 5 home games.