Philadelphia Phillies, which sported the best record in the major leagues last year, finds itself in last place in a crowded National League East race after losing two of three at first-place Washington. The New York Mets, meanwhile, were largely regarded as an afterthought but have kept in the thick of it thanks largely to their 7-3 record in one-run games. New York won by one Saturday and by two Sunday at home against Arizona.
The Phillies, who boast one of the best pitching staffs, have struggled mightily on offense, scoring one run or none nine times — but they erupted late Sunday night, scoring six ninth-inning runs in a 9-3 win that prevented a sweep at the hands of the Nationals. New York, which is 10-5 against NL East foes, took two of three at Philadelphia last month.
Mets Phillies Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, May 7, 2012
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN (national), Comcast Sports (Philadelphia)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets LH Jonathon Niese (2-1, 4.08 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Roy Halladay (3-2, 3.40 ERA)
Niese has run hot-and-cold, but he was on fire in an April 14 win at Philadelphia, scattering five hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings. The left-hander has not won since, however, and he lasted just three innings in his last start at Houston on May 1 (6 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 1 K). Niese is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA in nine outings against the Phillies.
Halladay has shown a mortal side recently — the Phillies have lost his last three starts, though they spared him a decision on May 2 when he was hammered by Atlanta (5 1/3 IP, 12 H, 8 ER) in a start that nearly doubled his earned-run average. The two-time Cy Young winner has given up 13 runs in his last 19 1/3 innings after yielding just three in his first 23 frames this season.
1. Halladay is 9-2 with a 2.88 ERA against New York. Mets C Josh Thole is 7-for-16 against him, but the rest of his teammates are 19-for-109 (.174).
2. Phillies 3B Placido Polanco is 10-for-24 (.417) with six RBIs against Niese, but RF Hunter Pence is just 2-for-14 (.143) against the Mets hurler.
3. Though the Phillies owned baseball’s best record (102-60) last season, they have won just 20 of their last 46 games.