Series Preview: Mets at Phillies

New York looks to exact revenge on Philadelphia starting Monday night.

            The New York Mets (5-6) will travel to Citizens Bank Park for their next series against the division rival Philadelphia Phillies (6-7). In their first meeting this year, the Phillies spoiled the Mets home opening series as they took two out of three games. The Amazin’s bats needed some refueling as they fell silent after the first game of the series. The lumber has caught some fire since then, and just in time for the Mets to get crucial division wins.

Monday: Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.69 ERA) v. Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

            Monday night will feature two pitchers that got off to a hot 2016 start. Syndergaard has undoubtedly been the Mets best starter so far as he as been nearly un-hittable. In just two starts, he has struck out 21 batters thanks to his devastating slider that has been consistently in the 90s. “Thor” is in the clouds right now as his confidence on the mound is backed up by his performance.

            The Mets will have no easy ride, though, as Eickhoff has been just as good. In 12 innings of work, the rookie has been efficient owning a 6.00 strikeout to walk ratio and a WHIP under one. However, he will be throwing against the Mets who ended his night after he allowed three runs on five hits and two walks.

Pitching Edge: The Mets had Eickhoff’s number in their first matchup, and with Syndergaard as dominant as he is, the Mets starter should get the edge for the first game.

Tuesday: Logan Verrett (0-0, 1.29 ERA) v. Vince Velazquez (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Verrett had a magnificent spot start in place on Jacob deGrom last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins. He didn’t earn the win, but he threw six scoreless innings allowing only three hits and striking out six. With deGrom still battling lat tightness, head coach Terry Collins has full trust in Verrett to pitch in his place.

            In the other dugout, Velasquez has been out of this world. He is currently the best pitcher in the national league dominating in every category including strikeouts (25), WHIP (0.60) and tied for first with an ERA of 0.00. Velasquez threw a gem in his last outing fanning 16 in a 3-0 shutout against the San Diego Padres. The Phillies are beyond ecstatic that they decided to place the righty in the rotation, and he will focus on making them more proud Tuesday night.

Pitching Edge: The Philadelphia crowd was in awe last Thursday with Velasquez’s performance, and now that they know what he is capable of, they will be extra rowdy Tuesday night. Give the edge to Velasquez, but don’t be surprised if Verrett quiets them early.

Wednesday: Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.13 ERA) v. Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 4.30 ERA)

            Colon earned his first win of 2016 on Friday over the Cleveland Indians on Jackie Robinson Day. It wasn’t his best performance as he let up eight hits in five and a third innings, but he was able to keep runners from rounding the bases only allowing two earned runs. Colon notched his 219th victory, and if he comes away with the win Wednesday, he will pass Pedro Martinez with the second most wins by a Dominican-born pitcher in history.

            Hellickson will take the mound against Colon Wednesday looking to bounce back from a rough outing against the NL East leading Washington Nationals. Six total runs came across, five of them earned as Hellickson’s day was done after a brief three-inning start. He did earn the win against the Mets on April 10th, however, and will look to do the same this time around.

Pitching Edge: History is on the line for Colon, and after Hellickson’s implosion last Friday, the Mets bats should give Colon enough insurance to work with.

More About This Series

Great news as deGrom’s baby boy, Jaxon, is improving and hopes to be home on Monday from the hospital. The newest addition to the family had some health “complications” which forced the Mets starter to take leave due to the emergency. deGrom battling his own health issue with the tight lat had time to throw a bullpen in Port St. Lucie as he aims to get back on the rubber. For now, he belongs in Florida with his family to make sure his son is safe and sound.  

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