The Philadelphia Phillies made it two wins in a row against the Mets last night, as they earned a 7-5 win behind an offense who are picking up steam. We’ve been waiting for the Phillies to show signs of life at the plate and they’ve looked good with 20 runs in the last two games. There were six different Phillies who plated runs last night, so it was a welcome sign to get production from multiple guys in the lineup.
The Phillies need to get the bat of Bryce Harper moving in the right direction. That’s the main key to success for the Phillies in the second-half. Harper did heat up after the All-Star Game with the Nationals last season. The Phillies are hoping that history will repeat itself in 2019.
While the Phillies won last night, their NL East rivals, the Atlanta Braves, were winners as well. The Braves edged out the Cubs by a score of 3-2. Should they have won? With only 3 hits in the game, probably not. However, the Cubs only had 4 hits, so neither offense were particularly strong in that one.
It makes for the second time that the Braves have won by scoring 3 or less runs. That’s a Major League Baseball record and they have a lot of time left to do it again. Their pitching is so wildly all over the place this season, but maybe Dallas Keuchel emerges to get some more consistency going in their rotation.
He wasn’t particularly good in his debut, but he might need time to shake the rust off. The Phillies trail the Braves by 5.5 games. Nothing changes from Sunday night in the NL East. Jason Vargas, who recently told a reported to go “f” himself, will be called upon in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Nick Pivetta will counter for the Phillies. It’s going to be another hot day in Philadelphia, so this should be an uncomfortable one for those in attendance. The ball should be soaring in this weather. Head below for our free Mets vs. Phillies pick.
N.Y. Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
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Jason Vargas has to get his head into the game on Wednesday early. He’s been in the news not because of his on the field play, but because of his antics after a loss to the Cubs. Manager, Mickey Callaway, got into it with a reported and then Vargas felt the need to join in. Vargas threatened to knock the reporter out, which brings us to his next scheduled start on Wednesday.
For much of the season, Vargas led the Mets’ rotation in ERA. For a rotation with Jason deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, it’s hard to fathom. However, Vargas has hit an ugly dose of variance lately, as he begins to plummet back to earth. He’s still been alright, but has an ERA of 4.30 in his last three starts. That includes a total of 7 runs surrendered in 8.2 innings of work.
Vargas also hasn’t been at his best on the road, where he sports a 4.65 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He was pitching at such an impressive clip that I don’t believe anyone expected him to be able to sustain it. I can see him regressing closer to the 4.30 ERA range by the end of the summer. The Phillies have been hot recently, so he’s likely going to have a challenge on his hands. The hot weather doesn’t help keep baseballs in the park.
He’s probably going to have some help from his offense here, though. The Mets have had solid success against Nick Pivetta in the past, having hit him for a .316 average and .382 OBP in 57 at-bats. That includes 4 home runs and 12 runs scored for the Mets. Pivetta has been better off on the road this season, as he goes into Wednesday with an ERA of 5.85 and 1.55 WHIP in Philadelphia. Pivetta has also given up 10 runs in his last 12 innings on the bump. With the heat and humidity levels up against in Philadelphia, expect another high-scoring contest in this one.