MLB betting: Mets stumbling in NL wild card race despite easy schedule

Updated: September 22, 2016

Today’s featured MLB betting preview: Philadelphia Phillies (69-83, 33-41 away) @ New York Mets (80-72, 41-36 home), Citi Field (pictured below), New York, NY; Friday, September 23, 9.10am (AET) – starting pitchers: Adam Morgan (PHI, 2-10, 5.57 ERA); Seth Lugo (NYM, 4-2, 2.35 ERA)



The New York Mets may have been handed a very friendly schedule to end their MLB regular season schedule but they’re yet to make the most of the opportunity. After losing three straight at home against the worst team in the National League, the Mets will aim to bounce back when they open a four-game set at home against another of the division’s weaker sides – the Philadelphia Phillies – tonight. New York blew a 3-0 lead as Yoenis Cespedes’ bid for a walk-off home run was hauled in over the center-field wall by Ender Inciarte meaning the Atlanta Braves capped a Citi Field sweep with a dramatic 4-3 win yesterday.

The setback left New York in a three-way tie with St. Louis and San Francisco for the two NL wild-card spots with identical 80-72 records. The Mets will look to an unlikely stopper when rookie right-hander Seth Lugo opposes second-year Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan. Lugo didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start last Saturday after giving up one run over five innings against the Minnesota Twins. He is 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in six starts since replacing injured southpaw Steven Matz in the rotation. New York has won each of Lugo’s past five starts.



The Phillies have won four of their past five after sweeping a two-game set against the Chicago White Sox, capped by yesterday’s 8-3 win where they it knocked American League Cy Young Award contender Chris Sale around the park. Morgan has allowed two or fewer runs in four straight starts, although he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Miami on Friday. His previous outing before that came at New York on August 26, when the Mets hit him for six runs in five frames.

The 26-year-old has given up 11 runs and 15 hits (seven of them home runs) in just 8 2/3 innings in his career against New York for a record of 0-1 with an 11.42 ERA. He has won just one of his past 18 games (16 starts), a stretch in which he has compiled a 5.87 ERA. Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph is batting .480 with three home runs and eight RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. New York has a slim 7-5 season series advantage but have outscored Philadelphia by a 63-33 margin. The Phillies are 4-12 in their past 16 meetings in New York and 16-38 in the past 54 meetings overall.



Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets +8 (one unit @ $2.07)
Boston Red Sox WIN @ Baltimore Orioles (one unit @ $1.79)
Atlanta Braves WIN@ Miami Marlins (one unit @ $2.20)
Pittsburgh Pirates WIN @ Milwaukee Brewers (one unit @ $1.93)


Today’s other games

Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins (1)
Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians
New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels @ Houston Astros
Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins (2)
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants @ San Diego Padres


Yesterday’s results: 4-0-3, +0.48 units; overall record: 411-23-304, +88.55 units

Houston Astros WIN @ Oakland Athletics (one unit @ $1.73) WIN (6-5)
St. Louis Cardinals @ Colorado Rockies +12.5 (one unit @ $1.95) LOSE (1-11)
Chicago White Sox @ Philadelphia Phillies -7 (one unit @ $1.95) LOSE (3-8)
Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians -7.5 (one unit @ $2.02) WIN (3-4)
Washington Nationals @ Miami Marlins -7.5 (one unit @ $1.95) LOSE (8-3)
New York Yankees WIN @ Tampa Bay Rays (one unit @ $1.88) WIN (11-5)
Arizona Diamondbacks WIN @ San Diego Padres (one unit @ $1.85) WIN (3-2)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Bets void if listed pitchers do not start. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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