New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies April 8th 2013

The New York Mets depart the “Big Apple” for the first time this season and head for the “City of Brotherly Love”. Something tells me the Philly faithful will not exhibit much affection for the Mets however. New York (4-2) ended a successful opening year home stand yesterday with a 4-3 walk off win at Citi Field vs. the Miami Marlins. That made it 2 wins in a row against the fish. This followed victories in the first 2 games against San Diego to open the 2013 MLB campaign. In between, they dropped 1 each to the Padres and Marlins.

Philadelphia (2-4) is off to a rough start. They lost both series last week, one on the road in Atlanta and another at home against Kansas City including yesterdays 9-8 defeat. In that one, the Royals held on after Billy Butler was awarded a Grand Slam after a video review in the 5th inning. The Phil’s put up 4 runs in the 9th but came up one run short of forcing the contest to extra innings. The attempted comeback included a 3 run homer by Jimmy Rollins.

Tonight’s game begins a 3 game series between these 2 N.L. East division rivals. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown in Citizens Bank Park at 7 ET and you can watch all the action on ESPN Monday Night Baseball.

The pitching matchup finds 6’4″, 225 lb. right hander  Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) taking the hill for New York. Another big righty, Roy Halladay (6’6″, 225lbs.) will throw the ball for Philadelphia. It is the classic duel between youngster and veteran with Halladay bringing 15 years experience into the affair versus Harvey’s half year in the big leagues. Harvey was brilliant in his 2013 debut last Wednesday against the Padres. He shutout San Diego yielding just 1 hit and fanning 10 over 7 innings in an 8-4 victory. Halladay (0-1, 13.50) had no such success pitching on the same day last week in Atlanta. He allowed 5 runs on 6 hits in just 3 and 1/3 innings of work. The eventual result was a 9-2 triumph by the Braves.

He did strike out 9 while allowing 3 base on balls. There is some concern in the Phillies camp given Halladay suffered from shoulder soreness last year. This preseason he gave up 11 runs in 16 and 1/3 innings which is very un-Halladay like. Even with this, there is some good news for Philadelphia fans assuming Halladays shoulder is not an issue. He is 9-1 in his last 11 starts against the Mets with an ERA of 2.36.

The Mets have been productive with the bat through the first half dozen contests scoring 36 runs and belting out 8 round trippers. They have hit a homer in every game thus far this season for only the 3rd time in team history. The other 2 were in 1962 and 1987. Philadelphia has scored 25 runs in their first 6 but have shown little power. The teams slugging percentage is .370 vs. the Mets .434. An even more alarming stat is that the Phillies have struck out a total of 26 times in just the last 2 games!

The Mets were 7-2 in Philadelphia last year and 10-8 overall against the Phillies. Even with this, trusting a healthy Halladay takes to the mound tonight, I look for him to rebound from this years first start and for Philadelphia to get the “W”. Sign up to a new online sportsbook for a no deposit free bet and use our first MLB betting tip.

Free MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies

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