Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets Free Picks
Although it's only May, the New York Mets already are facing a difficult uphill climb to reach first-place Philadelphia in the National League East Division, making this weekend's Phillies-Mets series a key measuring stick for New York.
The Phillies and Mets will play at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Friday and Saturday, before playing a 1:10 p.m. game Sunday from Citi Field in New York City.
Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt and New York's Chris Capuano will face each other Friday, while Cole Hamels and Mike Pelfrey will pitch Saturday in a FOX regionally televised game. Sunday's game will showcase Vance Worley for the Phillies and Jonathon Niese for the Mets.
The Mets are fortunate that Roy Halladay will not pitch for Philadelphia in the series, as Halladay has allowed just one run in 16 innings against New York this season.
The Phillies and Mets played in the season's opening week at Philadelphia, with the Phillies winning two out of three games. Halladay shut out the Mets, 11-0, in the deciding game of the series on April 7. Halladay threw seven innings, allowing just six hits and striking out seven.
In New York's only win in that series, 7-1 on April 5, David Wright had four hits, including a two-run double. However, Wright has not played since May 15, as he battles a back injury. Wright is on the disabled list, and he will not play in the series.
Philadelphia again won two of three at home against the Mets April 29-May 1. Halladay had a very strong outing in the Phillies win, 2-1 on April 30. Halladay threw a complete game, allowing seven hits while striking out eight in nine innings.
Philadelphia enters the Phillies-Mets series having won three of its last four and five of its last seven. After a stretch in mid-May where the Phillies scored just 12 runs in eight games, Philadelphia has scored 28 runs in its last four games, while taking three of four games from Cincinnati. Philadelphia now leads the NL East at 31-19, which is the best record in the National League.
The Phillies have received a boost this week, as second baseman Chase Utley has returned to the lineup after missing Philadelphia's first 46 games with a knee injury. Utley hit his first home run of the season Thursday.
New York, meanwhile, enters the Phillies-Mets series this weekend having lost four of its last five games to fall below .500 at 23-26. New York is 7 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East, good for fourth place. The Mets were not very competitive in the four losses, being outscored by the Cubs and Yankees by a combined 36-10.
Take the Phillies to sweep the Mets in New York