Phillies Face the Mets as MLB Betting Underdogs on Wednesday Night

Posted by Kenny Bell on Tuesday,April 18, 2017 10:11, EDT in

Last week, the Mets swept three games in Philadelphia in their first meeting of the year with their NL East rivals. This week, the Phillies visit Queens for the first time in 2017. The Mets are likely to be small pro baseball betting favorites for Wednesday’s Game 2.

Philadelphia at NY Mets MLB Prediction & Betting Analysis

When: Wednesday, April 19, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Citi Field, New York
Probable pitchers (away/home): Vince Velasquez/Robert Gsellman
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: Philadelphia / New York
Opening MLB Lines: Mets favored by TBA

Why Bet On Philadelphia?

The Phils have won just one series all season. They lost two of three over the weekend to start a road trip in Washington. Joaquin Benoit blew a save in that one. Benoit entered the game with the Phillies leading 4-3, but he issued a one-out walk to Chris Heisey, a one-out single to Adam Eaton, and then Bryce Harper slugged a triumphant three-run walkoff homer. Benoit jumped ahead of Harper 0-2, threw three no-chance balls, then served one down the chute.

Benoit was recently named the Phillies’ new closer, replacing Jeanmar Gomez. Since his great 5-month run in 2016, Gomez is 1-4 with three blown saves in five chances and has a 16.20 ERA, thanks mainly to hitters’ .536 batting average against him.

The Phillies have shown more patience at the plate, ranking second in the Major Leagues with 4.07 pitches per plate appearance. They finished 27th last season, averaging 3.81. if they maintain that pace, it could mean more than 1,500 pitches seen in 2017. The improved discipline has helped the Phils swing at better pitches. They are ninth in the Majors in scoring, averaging 4.67 runs per game, and 15th with a .721 OPS. Yes, it is a small sample size, but there is improvement there, considering the club ranked last in scoring (3.77 runs per game) and OPS (.685) last season.

It’s Vince Velasquez here. Through two starts, Velasquez has struggled to find his footing. Sporting a 9.00 ERA after his first nine innings of work, the 24-year- old right-hander is looking to rebound as he takes on the Mets for the second time in as many outings. He has pitched past the sixth inning just three times in his 26 starts since the beginning of the 2016. He pitched four innings in his first start this season, five in the second.

Since late July, he’s 0-6 with a 6.46 ERA. The Phillies shut him down in early September, so he has pitched just 54 1/3 innings since that time, and the number the team loves is his 71 strikeouts in that span. The club isn’t quite as thrilled with the 14 homers he allowed, opponents’ .297 batting average and his 1.602 walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP).

Why Bet On New York?

Mets closer Jeurys Familia pitched for Double-A Binghamton on Monday. It will be his second and final appearance in the minors before returning from his suspension on Thursday. Familia threw eight pitches in a 1-2- 3 ninth inning Saturday with High-A St. Lucie and was reportedly sitting in the 96-97 mph range. The Mets have considered easing Familia into his closer gig with one or two appearances in non-closing situations.

Starting pitcher Seth Lugo (elbow) will begin a throwing program on Tuesday. Lugo was shut down for two weeks after being diagnosed with a “slight” tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and will try to rehab the injury. He’ll start out by throwing from 60 feet on Tuesday, but he’s a long way off from pitching for the Mets again.

It's Robert Gsellman for the Mets. Though Gsellman gave up eight runs in his last start against the Marlins, some better defense behind him could have saved several runs off his final line. The Mets are chalking up Gsellman’s two straight poor starts to growing pains for the rookie. Pitching coach Dan Warthen said he is looking beyond the fact Gsellman is 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA.

“I won’t count the first one because of the weather,” Warthen said, referring to Gsellman’s start against the Marlins at chilly Citi Field. “But just [last Thursday] I saw inconsistency in his release points. He is getting long right now. I think he is over-trying, so I think he will be able to figure it out in his next bullpen session and get it back.”

Gsellman was among the Mets’ bright spots last season, when he arrived in August and went 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in eight appearances to help lead a surge to a National League wild-card berth.

Philadelphia at NY Mets MLB Betting Pick: New York Mets

Gsellman hasn’t been very good this season, but neither has Velasquez. So we’ll just go with the home side.