New York Mets (51-61; 64-37-11 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (42-70; 49-54-9 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Philadelphia -140/New York +120
The Philadelphia Phillies will host the New York Mets in the third game of a four game divisional series Saturday evening from Citizens Bank Park. The Mets will give the nod to 26-year old left-hander Steven Matz, and the Phillies will send 24-year old right-hander Aaron Nola to the mound. The Mets owns a 7-3 lead in the season series.
Matz Hit-Hard Again, Eyes First Win Since June
Steven Matz will take the mound for the 12th time of the season, looking to finally get back in the win column. Matz was hit-hard by the Dodgers in his previous start, conceding five runs in 5.1 innings, and was charged with the loss. The young left-hander has been unable to get in a groove this season, posting a poor 5.77 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP to go with a 2-5 record in his 57.2 innings of work. Matz, who will be facing the Phillies for the first time, has not logged more than 5.1 innings in a start in six straight starts. Neil Walker has been productive against the Phillies this season, collecting a hit in 9 of 25 at bats with two home runs and five RBI’s in seven games. The 31-year old second baseman is having a mediocre season, hitting .261 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI’s. Walker has only driven in one run all month.
The Mets are currently averaging 4.71 runs per game, ranking them 12th in the Major Leagues, and feature a .249 team batting average. The New York pitching continues to have issues, posting a 4.91 team ERA, placing them down at 29th in the Majors.
Nola Targets Ninth Consecutive Quality Start
Aaron Nola will get the call for the 19th time of the season, aiming for another Quality Start. Nola was outstanding in his previous outing, limiting the tough Rockies lineup to just two runs in seven innings and finished with the no decision in a 3-2 Phillies win. The young right-hander has been terrific through his last nine starts, and now features an 8-7 record with a solid 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 112.1 innings of work. He took on the Mets early in the season and conceded four runs in five innings, and has now allowed ten runs in nine career innings against the division rivals. Michael Conforto and Neil Walker have both homered against Nola. Tommy Joseph has enjoyed success against the Mets pitching this season, collecting 10 hits in 34 at bats with five RBI’s. The 26-year old slugger has been inconsistent at times, however overall he is having a decent season, hitting .245 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI’s. Joseph has only registered one RBI this month.
The Phillies are only scoring an average of 3.97 runs per game, ranking them 29th in the Majors, and are hitting .248 as as team. The Philadelphia pitching is carrying a decent 4.55 team ERA, placing them 18th in the Major Leagues.
The New York Mets are:
- 1-6 in Matz’ last 7 starts.
- 0-4 in Matz’ last 4 road starts.
- 7-21 in their last 28 games in the third game of a series.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 4-1 in Nola’s last 5 home starts.
- 5-1 in Nola’s last 6 starts on five days of rest.
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games.
I am siding with the Phillies in this contest. Nola has been outstanding as of late, posting a dazzling 1.72 ERA over his last seven starts, and he owns a terrific 2.87 ERA at Citizens Bank Park this season, so I am very confident backing him. In addition, Matz is scuffling on the mound, recording an abysmal 11.03 ERA through his last six starts, so I expect the Phillies to generate some runs against the struggling left-hander.