Phillies vs. Mets MLB Odds & Picks: Wheeler and Peterson Combine for Pitching Duel at Citi Field (Wednesday, April 14)
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zack Wheeler
- New York swept Philadelphia in a doubleheader on Tuesday.
- Despite their recent forms, the Phillies still opened as slight favorites for Wednesday's game.
- See why B.J. Cunningham thinks there's value on the total.
Phillies vs. Mets Odds
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
After winning both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the New York Mets are slight underdogs to win the third of a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
After a great start to the season, the Phillies have fallen back to 6-5 and will look to former Met Zack Wheeler to pitch them back on track against David Peterson.
The Phillies lineup absolutely crushed left-handed pitching last season, putting up a .350 wOBA and 118 wRC+, both good enough for fifth in the MLB. They kept their entire lineup together from last season and the continuity has seemed to pay off through their first 11 games of the season.
The Phillies will have a good matchup against left-hander David Peterson, who mainly uses a fastball/slider/changeup combination. Philadelphia was average against sliders last season, but was the seventh-best team against fastballs and the fourth-best team against changeups. On paper it looks like the Phils should be able to get to Peterson early and often on Wednesday.
New York Mets
Even though they’ve gotten off to a slow start, the Mets had one of the best offenses in baseball over the second half of the 2020 season. The Mets lineup, which led MLB with a .272 average and was third in wOBA and wRC+, should get even better this season with the addition of Francisco Lindor. The former Indian fills the only underwhelming position in the Mets lineup, which was shortstop, where they weren’t getting a lot of production from Amed Rosario.
Most of New York’s success last season came against right-handed pitching as the team was third in the MLB with a .353 wOBA and 125 wRC+ against righties. New York was also in the top half of MLB against fastballs, sliders and sinkers, which happen to be the pitches Wheeler throws over 80% of the time.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Zack Wheeler vs. David Peterson
2021 ZIPS Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)
Phillies Starting Pitcher
Zack Wheeler, RHP
2020 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Zack Wheeler was fantastic in his first season for the Phillies in 2020, posting a 2.92 ERA and a 3.76 xFIP. He’s was on point with his control, allowing only three home runs and 16 walks in 71 innings pitched. He’s been solid through his first two starts of 2020 as well, allowing only three runs on eight hits in 11.2 innings.
Wheeler’s most noticeable improvement from last season was his sinker. In 2019, it was his worst pitch, allowing a wOBA of .343 against. However, in 2020, it was his best pitch, allowing only a .261 wOBA against, and it helped him improve his ground-ball rate from 43.2% in 2019 to 55.9% in 2020.
The rest of Wheeler’s arsenal, aside from his fastball, was stellar in 2020. Wheeler held batters to under a .270 wOBA with his slider and curveball and his whiff-rate was on those pitches was over 38%, per Baseball Savant.
Mets Starting Pitcher
David Peterson, LHP
2020 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
David Peterson had a pretty good first season in the big leagues. The 25-year-old posted a 3.44 ERA, but was really fortunate, though, because his xFIP was all they way up at 5.11.
Peterson usually sits in the low 90s with his sinking-fastball, which tends to produce a lot of ground balls (44.4% in 2020). He was very effective with that offering last season, as opposing hitters were only able to hit for a .164 average against it.
Peterson’s slider was elite, producing 24 punch-outs and a 37.1% whiff rate on only 210 pitches. As you can see it is pretty much impossible to hit if locates it correctly:
David Peterson had the one of the better sliders in baseball in 2020, here's his slider ranks among left-handed starting pitchers:
T/2nd: -6 run value (tied with Corbin, behind only Kershaw)
1st .119 BA
1st .136 xBA
3rd .254 SLG
2nd .209 wOBA
3rd 36.9 K%
1st 22.9 Hard hit% pic.twitter.com/GTHsor6IIF
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) December 31, 2020
Peterson also has a changeup and straight fastball (different than his sinking fastball) that he mixes in frequently, but both of those grade out as average at the the Major League level.
The Phillies had the worst bullpen in MLB by many different metrics in 2020. However, they’ve done a complete turnaround so far this season, as they rank inside the top-10 in both ERA and xFIP through their first 11 games.
Likewise, the biggest reason the Mets didn’t have much success last season was their bullpen. They made some upgrades through trades and offseason signings, while also keeping Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances and Seth Lugo. So far the Mets bullpen has been average, but overall it looks like New York should have the advantage in this matchup.
I think this pitching matchup sets up for a low-scoring affair.
Wheeler’s offspeed arsenal was amazing last season and should be able to hold the Mets lineup in check. On the flip side David Peterson’s fastball/slider combination can be unhittable if he’s on, so the Phillies are going to have some difficulty against him even though they do handle lefties pretty well.
Since I only have 7.62 runs projected for this game, I think there is value on Under 8 runs at +100 odds.
Pick: Under 8 (+100)