The Philadelphia Phillies still have a shot, if not a great one, of winning the NL East but should be a playoff team regardless. The New York Mets, meanwhile, need to get hot now or they will miss out on extra baseball again. The teams continue a series in the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday and it’s nationally televised.
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Why Bet on NY Mets?
The Mets have been sold to billionaire Steve Cohen, although it obviously won’t really affect the team this season. He’ll have a 95 percent stake in the team when all is said and done, at a valuation of approximately $2.475 billion.
The emergence of Cohen, a New York native, as the winning bidder over a group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez came days before the process was expected to conclude. The sale is subject to the approval of the Major League Baseball club owners. At least 23 of the 30 owners will need to approve the transaction. Once that hurdle is cleared, Cohen will assume full control of the franchise. The owners usually vote on that matter at their annual meeting in November.
If the Mets miss the playoffs, part of the blame has to go to struggling JD Davis. After being acquired from the Houston Astros in 2019, the third baseman was able to break out in a massive way. However, he has really struggled in 2020. Compared to last season, Davis’ launch angle has decreased by 5.9 degrees this season and it has caused him to struggle mightily against fastballs and breaking balls.
It’s ace Jacob deGrom (4-1) on the mound. DeGrom tossed six innings of one-run ball in Friday’s 18-1 blowout win over the Blue Jays on Friday. DeGrom gave up a run in the first inning on a single to deep right field from Vladimir Guerrero — the first time he’s allowed a first inning run since last April 11 — but he cruised from there with the benefit of a huge lead. The Mets’ ace gave up just three hits in all while walking two and striking out nine. He lowered his ERA to an NL-best 1.67 and also leads the league with 79 strikeouts.
DeGrom has allowed no more than one earned run in each of his last five starts, but he’s only been rewarded with two wins during that time. Through 54 innings, the right-hander has continued looking like the two-time Cy Young winner he is. He has 37.8% strikeout rate, 6.2% walk rate, and a 2.3 fWAR. His ERA, strikeout rate, and fWAR are good for second-best in baseball (first in the National League). DeGrom has reestablished himself as the favorite to win a third straight National League Cy Young Award, but the race is tight.
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
The Phillies activated Scott Kingery from a long stint on the injured list Monday and he homered vs. the Marlins. As a result of Rhys Hoskins’ injury, Kingery figures to play more frequently than expected. Hoskins has been placed on the injured list with a UCL injury that might end his season.
If Philly does break its eight-year playoff drought this year, it’ll have Hoskins to thank to some extent. Although Hoskins was stuck in a 0-for-10 slump, he has slashed a rather effective .245/.384/.503 (138 wRC+) with 10 home runs in 185 plate appearances. Hoskins had posted a 1.011 OPS with nine home runs and 19 RBI in a 19-game stretch before injuring his arm Saturday on a play on the infield.
All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto has been diagnosed with a mild hip flexor strain but should avoid the injured list. His arm bent back on a tag play Saturday night. His X-rays were negative. Catcher Rafael Marchan, 21, was called up Sunday to serve as insurance behind the plate. Manager Joe Girardi says he’s going to play.
“It’s a real concern any time anyone gets an MRI,” Girardi said of Hoskins. “We want to get an idea of exactly what’s going on to give us a better way of treating it and knowing how long to expect they’re going to be out. Is it going to be 3 to 5 days, is it going to be 10 days, what’s it going to be? That’s why we’re doing the MRIs.”
It’s ace Aaron Nola (5-3) on the mound here. Nola picked up the first shutout of his big-league career on Friday, scattering three hits over seven scoreless innings against the Marlins. The right-hander racked up 10 strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter in the contest. All three hits that Nola allowed were singles. It was fourth time already this season that Nola has struck out 10 or more batters. He needed only 106 pitches to get through seven frames in this one, firing 70 of those for strikes. Nola sports a terrific 2.40 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 77/13 K/BB ratio across 56 1/3 innings.
Nola pitched at the Mets on Sept. 6 and was a victim of poor defense in the loss, allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits over his 5 innings of work. Nola punched out 10 on the afternoon while issuing only one free pass. He surrendered a pair of solo home runs in the game — one to Pete Alonso in the second inning and another to Jeff McNeil in the sixth.
Expert PredictionPhillies 3, Mets 2
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