MLB Baseball Vegas Online Sports Betting & Free Picks Friday May 11th, 2018
NY Mets Visit Philadelphia in NL East Showdown
The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies are two of four teams within three games of each other in the NL East entering play this weekend. If this keeps up, we’ll be in for quite a treat as the season progresses with the young guns battling the established teams looking to upset the order of the division.
Philadelphia has been in rebuild mode for the past three seasons and have finished fourth or worse for five straight. They showed some glimpses last year, but were still a 96-loss team.
This year they have a new manager in Gabe Kapler, signed Jake Arrieta to anchor the starting rotation, Carlos Santana to lead the position players and to bring a little experience and swagger to the team. But their ascent into a tie atop the division entering weekend play is mostly due to their young talent starting to come of age.
On the offensive side that starts with Odubel Herrera (.353-5-23), Maikel Franco (.282-7-28) and Rhys Hoskins (.273-5-25). Herrera is leading the league with his batting average and the three are in top 14 in the league in RBIs. Santana is also in the top-ten with 26 RBIs but he’s hitting just .191.
The team is third, scoring 179 runs entering weekend play.
The pitching’s been just as good, as they sport a 3.49 team ERA which is fifth in the NL. The bullpen has been among the best in the league and Arrieta is one of three starters with an ERA of 3.15 or less.
They swept a four-game series versus San Francisco earlier this week and are 6-2 in their last eight.
The Mets were the Majors hottest team to start the season, going 11-1 in their first 12 games. They were even 17-9 by the end of April. They have hit a major slump as the calendar turned to May with a 1-8 record since then and are 18-17 overall.
They were swept by two of the league’s best teams, the Braves and Rockies to start things off, but then just dropped two of three to the league worst Reds this week.
Both the offense and defense are struggling this month as they’ve averaged just 2.33 RPG while hitting .203 and the team ERA is 5.51.
Arrieta (3-1, 3.15 ERA) has had one rough start and five solid to excellent ones to start his season. Last time out he allowed one run in six innings, but the Phillies dropped a 5-4 decision.
Steven Matz (1-3, 4.23 ERA) has been a tough-luck pitcher this year including his last start where he allowed one run in six innings of a 2-0 loss to the Rockies. He’s allowed three runs or less in each of his six starts, but has completed a full six innings of work just once.
Philadelphia is -142 favorites and New York +132 underdogs. The day off to regroup should do the Mets some good, but you have to like the Phillies chances to pick up another win here with one of their aces on the mound against a struggling lineup. The pick: Phillies 5-2.