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MLB Odds & Picks: Mets Undervalued vs. Phillies in First 5 (Saturday, Sept. 5)

MLB Odds & Picks: Mets Undervalued vs. Phillies in First 5 (Saturday, Sept. 5) article feature image

Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Lugo

Phillies vs. Mets Odds

Phillies Odds +133 [Bet Now]
Mets Odds -155 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9.5 (-103/-120) [Bet Now]
First Pitch Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The resurgent Phillies put their five-game win streak on the line Saturday as they take on Seth Lugo and the Mets.

Philadelphia took game one of the series behind a fantastic pitching performance from Jake Arrieta, and they are now only two games behind the Braves for first place in the NL East, so they need to keep the momentum going if they want make the playoffs.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.

Phillies Projected Lineup

The Phillies have been fantastic offensively this season. Philadelphia’s lineup boasts the sixth-best wOBA (.341) and eighth-best wRC+ (111) in MLB.

However, most of the Phillies success has come against left-handed pitchers.  Philadelphia has a .366 wOBA against lefties, compared to only a .332 wOBA against righties. Lugo has been one of the Mets best pitchers the past few years, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies can keep their red hot offense going.

Phillies Probable Starter

Spencer Howard, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Howard hasn’t had a great start to his MLB career. The former second-round pick has already accumulated a 5.41 xFIP through his first four starts and is having issues with his control. In only 16.2 innings pitched, Howard has already allowed five home runs and seven walks to opponents.

Howard is the Phillies’ No. 1 prospect from their minor league system and spent last year ascending all the way from rookie ball to AA. His numbers in AA were really good (11.15 K/9 & 2.66 xFIP), but under normal circumstances I think the Phillies would have kept him the minors for one more year.

Mets Projected Lineup

Despite their 17-22 record, the Mets’ offense has been really good so far this season. They have the fifth-best wOBA (.343) and third-best wRC+ (118). They’ve had most of their success versus right handed pitching, as they rank fourth in MLB in terms of wOBA (.346).

Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, and Michael Conforto have been carrying the Mets offensively, as they all have a wOBA over .400 and have combined for 69 RBIs this season. The Mets shouldn’t have trouble taking advantage of Howard’s control issues.

Mets Probable Starter

Seth Lugo, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Seth Lugo finally gets his wish and has been put in the Mets starting rotation for the first time since 2018. Lugo has been the Mets best reliever over the past two years, posting a 3.24 xFIP in 2019 and a 2.02 xFIP through 17 innings this season.

He mainly has a three-pitch arsenal of fastball-curveball-sinker that he uses really effectively. All three pitches generated a whiff rate over 20% and held hitters to a .171 average. It’ll be interesting to see if his effectiveness goes down once hitters see him a second or third time, but none the less he’s still one of the best pitchers the Mets have.


The Phillies made a number of acquisitions at the deadline to try and improve their bullpen, and it’s still to early to tell if they’ve had a big impact, but they’ve lowered their xFIP to 4.59. The Mets’ bullpen ranks 12th in MLB with a 4.39 xFIP.

Projections and Pick

I think the Howard/Lugo matchup is a big mismatch in the Mets favor. With both offenses being fairly even, I think there is some value in backing the Mets first five inning spread of -0.5 at -125 (Draftkings), but I would only play it up to -129.

Pick: Mets First Five Innings -0.5 (-125)

[Bet the Phillies or Mets in PA with a 20% profit boost at Parx]

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