The Phillies swept their opening series against the Braves to go 3-0, while the Mets will play their first game Monday night after their series against the Nationals was postponed due to COVID. The two teams will play the first of three games on Monday at 7:05 PM Eastern, with the third game starting on Wednesday. The Mets debut former Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor while kicking off a season full of high expectations.
Game 1: DeGrom vs. Matt Moore
Jacob DeGrom will take the mound for the Mets against the Phillies Matt Moore, which is a guy who last pitched extensively in 2018 to a two-time Cy Young winner. Safe to say this matchup favors the Mets. But, let’s compare Moore’s 2018 to DeGrom’s 2020, with DeGrom's numbers coming first.
ERA: 2.38 vs. 6.79
WHIP: 0.956 vs. 1.657
ERA+: 183 vs. 70
H/9: 6.2 vs. 11.9
For reference, here are what those stats mean:
WHIP: Baserunners per inning
ERA+: Adjusted ERA accounting for difficulty of batters faced, ballparks, etc. 100 is average, so 150 would mean that pitcher is 50% better than league average
H/9: How many hits the pitcher, on average, allows over 9 innings
Now, to Moore's credit, he did look better in spring training, pitching 15 2/3 innings and allowing 14 hits and 8 earned runs, but the matchup is still very heavily in DeGrom and Mets’ favor here. The Phillies bats also need to wake up to win this game, as through the Braves series they had a combined average of .260, with pitcher Zach Wheeler driving in 2 runs and Andrew Knapp, their backup catcher, having their only home run so far. Alec Bohm was able to get his first hit and an RBI Single on Sunday, so they might be headed in the right direction.
Game 2: Marcus Stroman vs. Chase Anderson
Stroman is making his Mets return after opting out of 2020 due to COVID concerns. The Phillies signed Anderson in the offseason, and we’ll again compare their last full seasons, with Stroman's numbers being first.
ERA: 3.22 vs. 4.21
WHIP: 1.307 vs. 1.266
ERA+: 137 vs. 106
H/9: 8.9 vs. 8.2
These numbers seem fairer, but I used Anderson’s 2019 season instead of his 2020 one, in which he only pitched 33 innings and dealt with injury issues, and his ERA spiked. In Spring Training, Anderson looked stronger than he did in 2020, with a nice 9.2 strikeouts per 9. However, it remains to be seen against a dangerous lineup what version the Phillies are getting, and even an average performance coupled with a strong offensive showing would bode well for the Phillies' chance of escaping with a victory.
Game 3: Nola vs. Peterson
In the third and final game of the series, the Phillies ace Aaron Nola will make his second start against the Mets David Peterson. Nola was mostly brilliant in his opening day start, only making one mistake in the top of the 7th which ended up flying into the Citizens Bank Park seats. Peterson made his debut; in the show last year, and pitched an overall solid rookie season for New York. But no doubt the key to this one will be the Mets lineup, with the blockbuster trade to acquire Francisco Lindor, and with hope, Pete Alonso can return to form could make the lineup deadly. If the Phillies can take advantage of the sophomore on the mound, the pressure is on the ace to deliver and secure the win.
Other Trends in Phillies vs. Mets
In 86 games vs. The Mets, JT Realmuto is hitting .300 with 47 RBI’s
As a Phillie, Didi Gregorius has hit .300 against the Mets. Over his career, that number drops to .290, to go along with 40 hits in 26 games.
As a Phillie, Jean Segura has slashed a staggering .404/.439/.747 against the Mets, with 40 total hits, 6 home runs, 23 RBI’s, and 23 runs scored in only 24 games.
Francisco Lindor is 8-13 for one home run and 3 RBIs against Matt Moore in his career
Francisco Lindor is 0-2 with a walk against Chase Anderson.
In 2 innings vs. the Phillies, Chase Anderson struck out three batters, walked 4, and allowed a home run as well as 5 runs. All that translates to an ERA of 22.50, and it would be a welcome sight for him to recreate that performance this week
Where to Watch/Listen to Game 1:
Time/Date: April 5th, 7:05 PM ET
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 94.1 FM