What a weekend. The Eagles are back in action and the Philadelphia Phillies are preparing for a three-game series against the New York Mets. The two rivals have clashed 11 times this season, with the Mets winning 9 of those affairs. This series may yield a different result.
The story so far
Not much has changed from a Mets perspective. They’re seven games clear at the top of the NL East with a 73-39 record, are obliterating the majority of teams in their path, and have a terrifying roster. They sliced through the Phils with ease in most games so far this year, but they may not have that same success this time around.
The Phillies are 40-20 since Rob Thomson took over. They’ve won 12 of their last 14. Sure, they may have lost Bryce Harper for a while and Nick Castellanos might have forgotten how to swing a bat for a couple of months, but this team has no shortage of batting power. They’ve hit 28 homers since the All-Star game on the back of an offense that just cannot stop firing. The Mets may have breezed past Alec Bohm in series past, but he had a .434 batting average in the month of July. That’s just one example. Kyle Schwarber is batting a smooth .300 this month, for another.
I could go on, but I’ll leave the hype-building for Matt Watson in our series preview. The bottom line is that this Phillies team is a very different beast to one that fielded a lackluster offense and a putrid bullpen.
Ranger Suárez (8-5, 3.68 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (8-2, 1.98 ERA)
Suarez might be on the rise, but he’s no Max Scherzer. There’s no questioning that the Mets have the advantage here and I wish there was some niche analytic that said Scherzer might struggle here. But I’m not silly. If the Phils are going to win this game, it’s riding the huge wave of momentum that’s been building and by seeking revenge with the bats.
The Phillies are understandable underdogs for this game, but am I going to ride them anyway? Absolutely. The smarter play would be the under given the pitching matchup and if you want to get really spicy…
…Francisco Lindor has scored in each of his last 13 games. Betting on him to record a hit here could be a profitable move.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola