What looks to be the best pitching matchup around the majors on Friday features three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Mets facing off with the Phillies’ Kyle Gibson. The Mets are favored on the MLB odds.
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Why Bet on NY Mets?
Mets reliever Trevor May has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in the lower part of his humerus bone. May was placed on the injured list Tuesday with right triceps discomfort but now will shut down for at least the next four weeks and might not be an option again for the Mets until late June or perhaps even July. The 32-year-old setup man was good in 2021 but had allowed eight earned runs over 8 1/3 innings in 2022.
New York’s hitters are batting .209 with two strikes this season. That leads the majors. eff McNeil has recorded 10 multi-hit games, which is tied for second in the majors. McNeil did not log his 10th multi-hit effort in 2021 until July 26 in his 62nd game.
It’s the second straight starts for Mets right-hander Max Scherzer (4-0) against the Phillies. Last Sunday night, he beat the visiting Phillies in allowing four runs on five hits over his six innings of work. Scherzer racked up nine strikeouts while issuing only one free pass. All of the damage done against him came via the homer — with Kyle Schwarber launching a solo and a two-run shot off of him and Bryce Harper adding a solo blast of his own for good measure. Scherzer generated 22 swinging strikes on his 94 pitches in the game, posting a CSW of 38 percent. He’ll has a 2.61 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 42/9 K/BB.
“Awesome — that’s what it’s about, coming here and having your ballclub win,” Scherzer said of being made aware that his teams have won 24 straight games in starts that he has made, a stretch dating back to 2021 with the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets have won each of his first five starts with the franchise, the second highest total for a Mets pitcher. The Mets won each of Kenny Rogers’ first six starts with the Mets in 1999. Scherzer ranks 18th on MLB’s all-time strikeout list and is within striking distance of several pitchers above him this season. He needs 23 strikeouts to pass John Smoltz.
Scherzer actually got ejected from the Mets’ game Tuesday and he wasn’t even playing vs. the Braves. Scherzer was upset about a called third strike on Dominic Smith, which prompted him to shout some colorful language in Riggs’ direction so Riggs ejected him in the sixth inning. Scherzer had only been ejected from one previous MLB game, and it was also one in which he did not pitch. On Aug. 9, 2013, umpire Will Little removed Scherzer from the Tigers’ loss to the Yankees for arguing a called third strike.
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
Entering this series, outfielder Kyle Schwarber has played in 36 career games against the Mets and his clubs have won 24 of them. Over his last 11 games vs. the Mets, Schwarber has 12 home runs, 20 RBI and five multi-HR games – he is the first player ever with 10 or more homers in an 11-game span against the Mets ever and the first player with 12+ HR against any team since Jim Thome hit 12 in 11 games against STL between 1998-2003. Schwarber is also the first player in MLB history with 5 multi-homer games in an 11 game-span against any team.
Kyle Gibson (2-1) takes the hill for Philly. Gibson wasn’t at his best in a no-decision against the Mets last Saturday, but still allowed just one unearned run over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander issued five walks and allowed two hits while striking out three. The only run that scored against him came after Brandon Nimmo worked a one-out walk in the fifth inning, advanced to third on an error by Gibson, then scored on a fielder’s choice. Gibson generated just seven swinging strikes on his 84 pitches, posting a CSW of 25 percent. He has a 2.93 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the season.
Gibson’s sinker velocity is down a bit to the second lowest of his career and he’s also throwing it at his highest rate since 2014. That normally doesn’t result in a career best swinging strike percentage but his sinker has generated an 11.9 swinging strike percentage, more than double his career average, and significantly higher than the 6.8 percent mark that currently represents his career best in a season. Sinkers are typically down in the zone, where there are fewer swings and misses.
Gibson has now walked at least two in each of his last four starts, suggesting that the gains he made in his command last year may be fading. But his 60.3% ground ball rate is one of the best in the majors.
Phillies pitchers have combined to post a 2.98 ERA at Citizens Bank Park this season. They have held opposing teams to three runs or fewer in nine games there.
- Mets are 16-5 in their last 21 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Mets are 6-2 in their last 8 road games.
- Mets are 5-0 in their last 5 Friday games.
- Phillies are 2-5 in their last 7 games as a home underdog.
- Phillies are 2-5 in their last 7 during game 2 of a series.
- Mets 4, Phillies 3
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