The Phillies’ top three pitchers were referred to as 1A, 1B, and 1C by manager Joe Girardi this offseason. The likings of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin simply put on a show for the 8,000+ fans each game at Citizens Bank Park this weekend. The Phillies wound up with the sweep against, en route to taking the series victory against the reigning division champion Atlanta Braves flashed the Phillies’ potential for this season.
Up next, the Phillies put Matt Moore on the mound as they look to take the first game of a three-game series against the New York Mets. The first pitch is slated for 7:05 in Philadelphia, with coverage beginning at 6:30 on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Phillies are +193 Moneyline underdogs with the over/under set at 7.5 runs.
After a full season in Japan, Matt Moore is making his return to the MLB. This will be his first start in the big leagues since April 6, 2019, when he pitched for the Detroit Tigers. Moore, 31, “went 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts last season in Japan, striking out 98 and walking 26 in 85 innings.”
Prior to his stint in Japan, the southpaw was an All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays. While with Tampa, he pitched in 96 games from 2011-2016, averaging a 3.88 ERA and 494 strikeouts. He was then traded to the Giants for Lucius Fox (minors), Michael Santos (minors), and Matt Duffy. Compared to his time with the Rays, his tenure in San Francisco was less than optimal. In 2017, he lost an MLB-high 15 games en route to a 5.52 ERA. The Giants released him, where he then signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers. His ERA continued to inflate, so he got released again and then signed with the Detroit Tigers. He made two appearances for Detroit, where he pitched ten total innings, striking out three, only allowing one walk and no earned runs.
It’s no secret that Moore has had an up-and-down career. When facing the Mets though, it’s been all downs. He’s only faced them three times- all starts- but has only lasted a combined 14.2 innings. Here, his ERA is inflated to 6.75, and has only accumulated 13 strikeouts. Moore will look to turn things around in his first start with Philadelphia.
Ah, aren’t the Phillies just so lucky that the Nationals-Mets series was postponed due to COVID? Since this will be the first game of the year for New York, Jacob deGrom will be kicking off the Mets’ season in South Philadelphia.
Since entering the league in 2014, deGrom’s resume is no joke. In seven seasons, he’s accumulated:
- 2014 Rookie of the Year
- 3x All-Star
- 2x Cy Young
- 2018 ERA title with a 1.70 season ERA
Against the Phillies, things are even better for the Mets’ ace. He’s only lost once to Philadelphia in 17 career starts, en route to his 8-1 record. He’s maintained a 2.38 ERA against Philly, where he’s also accumulated 114 strikeouts (just under seven per start against the Phillies). There isn’t much the Phillies are going to be able to do other than get to deGrom early and get him out of the game as fast as possible.
Storyline to Watch:
Phillies vs. Mets New Lineup
The Mets starting nine is going to look entirely different this season. New majority Steve Cohen bought the Mets with the motive to make them a competitive team again, and he did just that. This offseason, New York overhauled their infield. For starters, they signed James McCann early on a four-year, $40.6 million contract.
Aside from McCann, the Mets pulled off a blockbuster trade. New York acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Indians for INFs Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, RHP Josh Wolf, and OF Isaiah Greene.
On a lesser note, they also stabilized a lot of their depth. Other signings this offseason included:
Jacob deGrom will obviously be the star of the show during Opening Night, but the Mets lineup also has the ability to do some damage as well. The Phillies will need to play their best baseball possible while Matt Moore pitches a gem in his MLB return to make this a game.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire