The Easter weekend didn’t allow for much working time for yours truly, but the good news is we got off to a good start with our MLB pick on Opening Day.
The Brewers stormed back from behind late to take their opener from the Twins, and while it was a fortunate win, we’ll take it as those are going to go both ways all season long.
Now, let’s check out this Mets vs. Phillies MLB pick and see if we can open up our season 2-0!
- Season Record: 1-0
- Units: +1.00
Mets vs. Phillies Betting Odds
- Mets (-120)
- Phillies (+110)
- Mets -1.5 (+125)
- Phillies +1.5 (-145)
- Over 9 (-111)
- Under 9 (-109)
Mets vs. Phillies MLB Pick Breakdown
After deGrom’s 2-0 lead was blown after surprisingly being lifted from the game after just 77 pitches last night, the Mets will send right-hander Marcus Stroman to the rubber in what marks his first MLB appearance since September of 2019.
Indeed, Stroman opted out of the 2020 season which certainly didn’t help the Mets’ chances, especially with Noah Syndergaard on the shelf with Tommy John surgery. However, Stroman is a big piece to what the Mets plan on doing this season as the team’s current No. 2 starter.
After all, the hurled a 3.77 ERA in his 11 starts with the Mets in 2019, but also a 3.22 ERA/3.72 FIP combined between the Mets and Blue Jays that season. Here’s a guy that owns a 3.76 ERA/3.64 FIP for his career, but he’s posted that 3.22 ERA or better in two of his last three seasons.
He doesn’t do it much with the punchouts with a career 7.36 K/9, but rather in ground-ball form with that sinking fastball. Stroman saw his ground-ball rate plummet to 53.7% last season, but he owns a career 58.6% mark and had been at 60% or higher from 20k15-2018.
Even after missing the 2020 season Stroman is expected to be a workhorse for the 2021 Mets and it appears they have a good one in the charismatic right-hander.
Once again, the Mets were unable to provide run support from ace Jacob deGrom, scoring just two runs in the six innings that he pitched, one of which deGrom knocked in himself.
However, it’s likely a blip on the radar given the offense that the Mets bring to the table. It’s a Mets offense that ranked behind only the Braves and Dodgers at third with a .347 wOBA on the season, and one that added superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor who went 1 for 4 with a walk in his Mets debut on Monday night.
For good measure, it’s also a Mets offense that ranked behind those same two teams with a superior .353 wOBA against right-handed pitching last season, something they will see to begin this one tonight.
There just doesn’t appear to be many holes in the lineup. Lindor was brought in, but so was catcher James McCann who figures to be an upgrade on 2020 backstop Wilson Ramos. Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are two righty-mashers atop the lineup who get on base a ton while Pete Alonso is one of the most powerful first basemen in the game.
Add in the tough outs of Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil in this Mets lineup and you don’t have an easy out to deal with, and I suspect they’ll once again be one of baseball’s top offenses against right-handed pitching again in 2021.
Of course, it wasn’t an ideal start for the 2021 season for the Mets’ bullpen last night as they squandered a 2-0 lead by allowing five runs in the eighth. It was the only inning in which the Phillies scored in that one.
That was one was on newcomers Trevor May and Aaron Loup, two new arms that are expected to take on big roles in this version of the Mets’ bullpen.
The 2020 version of the Mets’ bullpen wasn’t great, ranking 18th with a 4.60 ERA on the season with a 4.74 FIP that ranked 21st. They got those numbers despite a big bounce-back season from closer Edwin Diaz who turned in a 1.75 ERA/2.18 FIP while Seth Lugo also worked some high-leverage situations and posted a 2.61 ERA/2.90 FIP.
Former Yankee Dellin Betances struggles to a 7.71 ERA/4.91 FIP in a small 11.2-inning sample, but while he didn’t have a great spring, he too is going to be relied upon heavily in what appears to be a deep Mets bullpen on the surface.
Certainly, they’ll be looking for a better effort in this one tonight.
After winning the club’s final rotation spot in spring training, right-hander Chase Anderson will be looking for a far better effort this time around than what he put forth in the truncated 2020 season.
It’s obviously a small sample, but Anderson posted a ghastly 7.22 ERA/6.16 FIP with a 6.45 xERA in seven starts, three relief outings and 33.2 innings pitched in 2020. The gopher ball was a huge issue as he allowed 2.94 home runs per nine innings in 2020 while generating ground-balls on just 36.5% of his contact against. Given his career 37.7% ground-ball rate, an elevated 1.41 HR/9 is not surprising.
For his career, Anderson owns a solid 4.06 ERA, although he’s largely outpitched his 4.60 FIP/4.51 xFIP/4.41 SIERA. Still not terrible numbers for back-end starter, however, and the Phillies would likely be satisfied if he hit his career numbers this season, especially that ERA figure just north of 4.00.
He’ll certainly have his hands full to get things started.
The Phillies are a cool 4-0 to begin the 2021 season, but their offense hasn’t exactly raked as their red-hot start to the season as been on the back of their pitching staff.
Across the season-opening, four-game win streak, the Phils have averaged just 3.50 runs per game with their five-run output from last night marking a season-high so far, but they also scored just six in their previous two games combined.
That’s not to say there isn’t potential here. On paper, the Phillies sport an offense that many teams would take in a heartbeat. They have plenty of power in bats like Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and retained catcher J.T. Realmuto while Alec Bohm earned Rookie of the Year votes in his debut 2020 season. Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura are fine complementary pieces closer to the bottom of the order, but like with the Mets, there aren’t many easy outs in this lineup.
They ranked seventh with a .336 wOBA last season after a disappointing 2019 season — Harper’s first with the teams — that had them tied for 18th with a .314 wOBA.
It would appear this Phillies offense is built to produce again this season, although they’ll have to beat a good starter in order to do so tonight.
Don’t look now but the Phillies’ bullpen is white-hot to start the season, turning in a second-ranked 0.69 ERA on the season with a stout 1.77 FIP to boot. That said, many Phillies fans are likely proceeding with cautious optimism given what happened with that group last season.
After all, the Phillies’ bullpen was an utter disaster in 2020, posting a 7.06 ERA that was by far the worst number in the league. Their 5.56 FIP tied for 27th and their 2.03 HR/9 was also by far the worst in baseball, so it’s certainly a nice sight to see this group get turned around here in the early stages of the 2021 season.
The club added plenty of late-game experience in the offseason in the form of Archie Bradley and Brandon Kintzler while fire-balling Jose Alvarado is reaching 100+ mph after pitching just nine innings with the Rays last season. The owner of a career 3.45 ERA/2.96 FIP at just 25 years old, Alvarado is going to be a handful.
The team still also has Hector Neris on board while the likes of David Hale, Sam Coonrod and Connor Brogdon are projected to have fine years themselves.
It certainly appears to be far deeper bullpen, one capable of shutting down the opposition for the duration of a much-longer 162-game sample here in 2021.
Mets vs. Phillies MLB Pick
It certainly looked like the Mets were in excellent shape to win last night’s ball game, but an early hook on Jacob deGrom set some events into motion. It’s not like the plan wasn’t to go to May and/or Loup situationally in the eighth, but yanking the world’s best pitcher while he’s dealing on Opening Day is such a curious decision and modern day baseball in a nutshell.
However, the Mets are positioned to bounce back here, but they’ll need to get the bats going. They lefty too many on base yesterday, but if they give Stroman some run support, they’ll be off and running.
Anderson has more or less been reliable in his career, but he’s the far inferior pitcher of the two. I would anticipate the Mets offense to be the superior of the two groups in this one and while the Phillies’ bullpen looks primed for a bounce back, we’ll have to wait and see how the most volatile aspect of a team’s roster works its way out as the sample size increases.
I’m looking at a real good pitcher in Stroman backed by a very good offense and liking the value on the Mets here as -120 road moneyline favorites.