The New York Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies in May of 2018 wasn’t expected to be such an important series but here we are with the Phillies only a half game back of the first place Atlanta Braves and the Mets three games behind Philadelphia.
Following a 11-1 start, the Mets have gone 7-16 and are coming off losing a three-game series to the National League’s worst team the Cincinnati Reds. They have fallen to fourth place at 3.5 games behind the Braves and one game from the third place Washington Nationals.
The Phillies’ season has taken a much different course. After starting the season 1-4, (including two-game series sweep by the Mets), and watching new manager Gabe Kapler getting booed in their home opener, the Phillies have since gone 21-11.
One of the big keys for the Phillies has been their bullpen this year which enters tonight with the fifth best ERA in the majors at 3.12. The Mets are farther down on the list with their bullpen’s 3.95 ERA ranking 13th in the majors. The Phillies (3.72 ERA) have had an advantage over the Mets (4.44 ERA) in the starting pitching department as well.
Offensively, the Phillies and their 101 wRC+ (T/9th in MLB) has been far superior to the 92 wRC+ (23rd) the Mets have posted this season. The Phillies are scoring 4.84 runs per game while the Mets are only mustering 4.23.
One thing to note is the Phillies have 13 pitchers currently on their active roster, but not a single lefty. The Mets have a major league worst 62 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season.
The Mets have a big opportunity this weekend in Philadelphia to get right back in the hunt of the NL East race if they win at least two games. Unfortunately, with at least two losses, they will no longer have a winning record and they’ll continue in their current downward spiral.