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New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies Odds, Picks, Prediction: First Five Total Has Value on Wednesday

New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies Odds, Picks, Prediction: First Five Total Has Value on Wednesday article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Max Scherzer (left) and Aaron Nola.

  • The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies square off on Wednesday afternoon as Max Scherzer takes the hill against Aaron Nola.
  • Neither offense has found sustained success in the first two games of this series, and they don't match up particularly well against the opposing pitcher.
  • Get Anthony Dabbundo's favorite bet for Phillies vs. Mets below.

Mets vs. Phillies Odds

Mets Odds -105
Phillies Odds -115
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 1:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Mets and Phillies will conclude their three-game series in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon after splitting the first two.

Neither offense has been clicking throughout the series. New York scored three runs off Phillies errors in the series opener, while Philadelphia has only scored in one of the 17 innings it has hit in this series.

Max Scherzer will make his second career start for the Mets, this time opposite Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola. Scherzer put together a quality start in his debut on Friday against Washington with six innings and three runs allowed. Nola, meanwhile, threw six innings of one-hit ball through six innings on Opening Day, but he then allowed a three-run homer in the seventh against the A’s.

Both aces will see a step up in quality on Wednesday. With unseasonably warm temperatures and a wind blowing straight out at Citizens Bank Park, there could be a good atmosphere for run scoring despite the elite starting-pitching matchup.

Mets Don’t Match Up Well vs. Nola

The Mets have seen plenty of Nola over the years, but this is a mostly new lineup of hitters, from Mark Canha to Eduardo Escobar to Starling Marte at the top of the order.

If there’s one pitch that the Mets lineup really struggled to hit last season, it was the curveball. Only two New York hitters produced a well above average run value against curveballs in 2021: Jeff McNeil and Javier Baez, who is now in Detroit. None of the new additions to the lineup rated out well vs. curveballs in ’21; Marte, Canha and Escobar all had average numbers against the pitch.

Given that Nola was most punished when he missed with his curveball in 2021, the Mets might not be the lineup to take advantage. New York does see a lot of pitches and take walks, but Nola has some of the best command in the National League so I don’t expect a ton of free passes to load up the bases for New York.

Scherzer threw 80 pitches in his first start and should be good to throw at least that many on Wednesday, putting to rest any concerns over his start to spring training. His velocity was a tick down but not noticeably and his spin rates continue to be fine.

Scherzer only generated seven swings and misses, a touch low for him as his fastball missed fewer bats. His breaking pitches continue to be excellent, though, and he can find plenty of success against Philadelphia with his secondary pitches.


Nola Poised for Bounce-Back 2022

Nola had his worst year as a pro in 2021 if you look at the baseline level stats. His 4.63 ERA was among the worst in MLB from qualified starters. Given that Nola finished third in Cy Young in 2018 and seventh in 2020, it certainly was bizarre that the Phillies ace couldn’t get anyone out.

A lot of Nola’s failures were a matter of variance than anything else. He did have issues with leaving two-strike pitches in the zone, and he had one of the lowest strand rates in the entire MLB last season. Since Nola became a top-level starter in 2017, his stand rate was never below 72% and averaged 77%. In 2021, that number was all the way down at 66%, the worst in the league.

Despite his 4.63 ERA, Nola’s 3.35 xERA was the exact same as his 2020 season and he paired that with a career-low walk rate and second-best K rate. There are no issues with Nola’s velocity, control or stuff. It’s smart to expect a huge bounce-back campaign from the 29-year-old in 2022 as the variance with runners on base and two outs swings back toward the mean.

Nola’s first start was a step in the right direction. He located the fastball well and posted a 50% CSW% with his curveball, a pitch he really struggled with last season.

The Mets will be a significantly more difficult challenge for Nola than the Athletics were, but he’s shown that he’s stretched out enough to give about six innings and 75-80 pitches at this point in the season.

The Phillies bullpen has been stretched considerably over the last three days because none of Zach Eflin, Ranger Suarez and Zack Wheeler pitched deep into games due to limited pitch counts. That’s pushed an already mediocre bullpen and thus leaves me trying to avoid betting on them, if possible.

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Mets-Phillies Pick

The DraftKings lookahead total was set at 9.5 before it was immediately bet down to its current spot at 8.5. Nola and Scherzer are priced correctly as two of the league’s upper echelon pitchers but the 10-15 mph winds blowing straight out at Citizens Bank Park and forecasted 80 degree temperatures will significantly improve the run scoring environment. Even with that, I’m looking to play the under in the first five innings.

Philadelphia’s three best hitters — Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper — have not had good at-bats at all in this series, and Scherzer has enough stuff that he can pitch around their fastball strengths. I expect Scherzer to continue to slow the Phillies lineup.

Nola looked extremely sharp until he ran out of gas in the third time through the order and I’m taking that possibility, and the Phillies bullpen depth concerns out of play by only playing the first five innings here.

There’s not much wiggle room because this has come down considerably, but I’d play the first five innings under 4.5 at -115 or better.

Pick: First Five Innings — Under 4.5 (-115)

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