The All-Star festivities have come and gone which means the second half of the season is about to kick off. The New York Mets (47-41), who currently sit six games back in the NL East, will begin a nine-game road trip starting with divisional rival, Philadelphia Phillies (42-48). Both teams finished the first half strong with the Mets winning six of their last ten while the Phillies won seven of their last ten. Now tied with the Miami Marlins for second place in the division, the Mets will look to get off to a hot start to pull away from the competition.
Friday 7:05 PM: Bartolo Colon (7-4, 3.28 ERA) v Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 3.92 ERA)
The Mets are hoping Colon has the same type of magic he displayed in the first half. What the righty has been able to do at the ripe age of 43 is mindboggling, and he will look to keep things going against the Phillies tomorrow night.
Hellickson has performed well for the Phillies so far this year which makes him a potential trade option at the deadline in a couple weeks. It was reported that the Red Sox took a look at the 29-year-old, and rightfully so as his last two wins came against the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, who own the best record in the MLB.
Pitching Edge: Colon lost in his one start against the Phils this year while Hellickson has a win against the Mets. Give the edge to the away team.
Saturday 7:05 PM: Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.34 ERA) v Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.80 ERA)
Verrett seems to be the guy for manager Terry Collins to take over Matt Harvey’s spot in the rotation. Things have not gone well in these spot starts, though, as he has lost his last four. However, his last win as a starter came against the Phillies back on April 19.
Eickhoff’s record looks unlike a quality starter, but the distance he goes in his starts is what counts. He produces quality innings which is evident by his ERA. He does get unlikely with run support though.
Pitching Edge: Verrett has had trouble going the distance, but his arsenal works against the Phillies. Give him the edge.
Sunday 1:35 PM: Jacob deGrom (5-4, 2.61 ERA) v Zach Eflin (2-2, 4.08 ERA)
deGrom has a great mindset heading into the second half of the season as not only did he finally get a win after a long stretch, but he secured back-to-back victories to finish off his first half of 2016. He beat the Marlins after a masterful seven inning, two earned run performance. Last time he faced the Phillies was his first start of the season where he earned a win.
Eflin was promoted to the Phillies from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in mid-June. He also finished the first half strong earning two wins in two straight starts. After the injury to RHP Charlie Morton, the Phillies hope Eflin can continue to produce in his spot for the second half.
Pitching Edge: deGrom’s midseason form seem to be in full effect after those two starts. Give him the edge.
More About This Series:
With the second half approaching, trade talks begin to swirl around the MLB as well. The Mets should be out searching for some players to boost their playoff chances once September comes around. It seems that GM Sandy Alderson is looking for a bullpen arm yet again to back up the starting rotation. In 2015, Tyler Clippard joined the Mets and was used proficiently throughout the second half and into the postseason. It doesn’t seem the Mets want a big splash like Clippard, but rather a cheaper option that can produce quality innings. Also, there is a possibility that the Amazin’s will go after a catcher as it has been a rough spot for the team so far this year. The Milwaukee Brewers, Jonathon Lucroy, is a potential prospect and may be pursued by the front office. Either way, the Mets are sure to make a move as they would love to repeat as NL East champs.