The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets for a critical showdown at Citi Field this weekend. Postseason implications could be on the line here. We don’t know how the standings are going to shake up by the end of the month. The Mets and Phillies are both vying for a wildcard going into the final bend of the regular season. Something is going to have to change fast if one is going to reach the playoffs.
The Mets are five games behind the final wildcard and the Phillies are four back. With the Cubs winning last night, the road gets more difficult for the Phillies and Mets. The Phillies stand to lose more than the Mets if they don’t reach the postseason. They were the team who broke the bank for Bryce Harper, which instantly put a large target on their backs.
Philadelphia have failed to live up to expectations, as the Braves and Nationals have both outplayed them in 2019. The Braves won again last night, which now puts the Phillies a whopping 14 games behind in the NL East. They really needed to find success in Cincinnati, but were losers in their final two games of the series. The Reds won with a walk-off by Philip Ervin in the 11th yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Mets had the day off following an 8-4 win Wednesday over the Nationals. They are going to need more performance like that down the stretch. They have a rotation who are capable of getting hot, but I don’t know if it’s going to be enough to get there. Steven Matz has been pitching well and will look to keep it up against the Phillies this evening. Philadelphia are expected to counter with Zach Eflin. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Mets pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. N.Y. Mets Pick:
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Zach Eflin had an awful start to the season and was ultimately removed from the rotation in July. The Phillies couldn’t stand to watch Eflin continue to get hammered and doing nothing about it. Eflin was moved to the bullpen in an attempt to get his stroke back. It was a good idea, because Eflin returned to the rotation and began to resemble a major league pitcher. It’s only been three outings for him as a starter since then, but he’s done well thus far. Eflin has posted an ERA of 3.24 and 1.14 WHIP since his return to the rotation.
His most recent performance was a standout performance against this Mets team. Eflin was sharp in 7 innings of work, as he allowed just 3 hits and 1-run in a 5-2 win for the Phillies. He’s been slightly less efficient on the road, with a 4.41 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 65.1 innings. The Mets have typically hammered Eflin in his career, so it was a rare productive outing for him. He’s allowed 8 long balls and 27 home runs in 164 at-bats against the Mets. I don’t expect him to be able to duplicate what he did in Philadelphia recently.
Matz has been even hotter than Eflin recently. He enters Friday night with an ERA of 2.08 and 1.04 WHIP in his previous three outings. Matz has been just as good at home, with a 2.01 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 67 innings at Citi Field. It has been since June 14th that Matz has allowed more than 2 runs in a home appearance. The Phillies have hit just 1 long ball and 10 runs against Matz in 169 at-bats. I’d look at the Mets on Friday night in this spot behind Matz.