MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, August 15): New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Credit:

Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Matz.

  • Brad Cunningham previews a Saturday afternoon NL East matchup between the NY Mets (+175) and the Philadelphia Phillies (-205).
  • The Mets will have starting pitcher Steven Matz on the mound, which is presenting some value for bettors.
  • Check out the full game preview, including the bet to make in this matchup below.

Mets vs. Phillies Betting Odds

Mets Odds +150 [Bet Now]
Phillies Odds -175 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 8.5 (-121/+100) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 6:05 p.m. ET

After Bryce Harper walked off the first game of the series with an RBI single, the Phillies and Mets now trail the Marlins each by four games. Both teams have been struggling so far this season and will need to pick up their level of play quickly if they want to have any chance at the postseason.

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 player per game is 0.46 BaseRuns.

Mets

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Despite their 9-12 record, the Mets’ offense has been really good so far this season. They have the 6th-best wOBA (.335) and 3rd-best (117). Inserting Dominic Smith after the first week of the season has paid off huge dividends as the 25-year-old is already leading the team in home runs (4) and RBIs (12), while accumulating a .409 wOBA in only 51 plate appearances.

Mets Projected Starter

Steven Matz, LHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Steven Matz has been horrible to begin 2020 with a 7.21 FIP. His main issue he’s been really prone to giving up the long ball, as he’s been tagged for eight already.

Matz is a primarily a sinker ball guy, but hasn’t been very effective with it, giving up a .392 wOBA to opponents so far this year. In fact, his changeup has been the only effective pitch through his first four starts. The bad news is the Phillies have been crushing changeups so far this season (6.7 weighted changeup runs) and they also crush left-handed pitching, so Matz is going to have to improve going forward or he could find himself out of the Mets rotation.

Phillies

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Philadelphia has been fantastic offensively to start the season. They have the fourth-best wOBA (.341) and the fifth-best wRC+ (115) in MLB. It’s no surprise they’ve been led by Bryce Harper, who has a .497 wOBA through his first 15 games, including a walk off single last night.

The Phillies have been absolutely mashing left handed hitting so far in 2020. In 179 plate appearances they have a .384 wOBA and 141 wRC+, which is significantly higher than their numbers against right handers. At this point in his career Matz is an average lefty at best, so the Phillies should have no trouble getting to him on Saturday.

Phillies Projected Starter

Aaron Nola, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Nola has been one of the best pitchers in baseball to begin 2020, posting a 1.78 xFIP through his first three starts. He’s made a commitment to his offspeed pitches, as he’s throwing his fastball the least of any of his pitches.

Nola’s success mainly comes from his curveball and changeup. His curveball almost acts like a slider with crazy lateral break, while his changeup has fantastic sinking action that moves down and in on righties. Both pitches have been really successful this season, producing over a 40% whiff rate and holding opponents under a .240 wOBA.

The commitment to throwing his offspeed pitches more has paid huge dividends for his fastball. So far, he’s hasn’t allowed a hit on his 55 offspeed pitches, so it’s clear he’s mixing his pitches really well right now.

Bullpens

Despite what Mets fans say, their bullpen has been solid to date. They have a 4.01 xFIP as a collective group, which ranks seventh in MLB. This Phillies bullpen has been a different story. They’ve been a disaster, accumulating a 10.13 ERA and 4.86 xFIP so far. The Mets will have a big advantage in the bullpen this series.

Projections and Pick

With the Phillies success against left handed pitching and Matz’s struggles so far this season, I am going to target the Phillies team total. I have 5.69 runs projected for Philadelphia on Saturday, so I am going to back Over 4.5 runs at -121 (DraftKings) and I would bet it up to -137.

Pick: Phillies Team Total Over 4.5 (-121)

[Bet Philly at -101 Odds with a 20% profit boost at Parx]

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