MLB Picks 2012: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets

The Philadelphia Phillies (25-24) and New York Mets (27-21) will open up a National League East series on Monday afternoon at Citi Field in New York, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 ET

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets  

New York Mets SP Jonathon Niese has been very good during the day in 2012

Philadelphia had its four-game win streak snapped in dropping an 8-3 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals on the road Sunday, as the team waits to find out of ace Roy Halladay will land on the disabled list with a sore shoulder later this week.  The Phillies haven’t enjoyed much success against the Mets this year, posting a 1-5 mark in the first six games, which includes getting swept at home in three games from May 7-9.  The club is nearly halfway through a stretch of playing 20 consecutive games against winning opponents, going 5-3 thus far.  Philadelphia is 6-8 in day games and the “over” is 7-6-1 in that situation.

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.17 ERA) has led the club to eight straight victories, as he will look to continue his personal streak of winning seven consecutive decisions.  He is coming off a 4-1 home win over the Washington Nationals last time out, tossing eight shutout innings and scattering four hits, while striking out nine.  The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four road outings, issuing just five walks and fanning 25 in 28 combined frames.  In 18 career starts versus the Mets, Hamels has tallied a 4-10 record and 4.33 ERA, but picked up an 8-2 home win on April 15 (7 IP, 2 ER).

New York managed to win the last three games of its four-game set against the San Diego Padres, as the pitching staff comes in off consecutive shutouts.  “Starting pitching, that’s what it is, that’s what the game is about,” stated Mets manager Terry Collins.  The Mets will face a stiffer challenge in welcoming in the Phillies, dropping nine of the last 14 meetings at home.  New York is 14-7 against division opponents this year.

Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (3-2, 4.29 ERA) will be facing the Phillies for the third time this season, posting a 1-0 record and 1.54 ERA, as he’s yet to surrender a home run in 11.2 combined innings.  The left-hander is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in three home outings this year, limiting opponents to a .186 average.  Niese does his best work during the day, entering with a perfect 3-0 mark and 1.62 ERA, issuing 10 walks and collecting 27 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.

Bettors will likely back the Mets due to their 4-1 mark as a home underdog of +110 to +150, while the Phillies are 1-4 in their last five road games against left-handed starters.

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