Thursday MLB Betting Preview

The Mets have picked up back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of this series.  Philadelphia hopes SP Cole Hamels can continue his May dominance and lead them to victory.

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

Philadelphia’s high-powered offense has been silenced this week, getting shut out three times in the past four games.  The struggles led to manager Charlie Manuel closing the clubhouse for 15 minutes after Wednesday’s 5-0 defeat.  “We stink when it comes to hitting,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.  The Phillies are also starting to come back in the standings to the rest of the division, as the team is now just 11-9 against NL East opponents this year (-140).  There’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel for a team that has posted a 21-11 record against right-handed starters (+640), which is the most wins among all NL teams.  Among NL teams they rank third in batting average (.266) and fourth in home runs (35).

Phillies SP Cole Hamels has posted a perfect 3-0 record and 2.36 ERA in May this season, leading the team to victory in all four starts (+400).  Finding success in the second month of the season is nothing new for the talented left-hander, going 13-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 23 career starts.  Despite a winning 2-1 record on the road this season in four outings, Hamels has been far from sharp away from Citizens Bank Park.  He has allowed 40 runners to reach base in just 23.2 innings of work on the road, posting an inflated 5.32 ERA (2.94 Home).  The Phillies are 7-2 overall with him on the hill (+380).

New York has won four of its last five games since returning from a disappointing 2-6 road trip.  The Mets have certainly enjoyed greater success at home than on the road in 2010, posting a 14-4 record in their last 18 games at Citi Field.  New York leads the National League with 18 home wins overall (+750).  Fans are hoping the team is showing signs of resurgence, led by the play of shortstop Jose Reyes.  He picked up his first home run of the season on Wednesday night and has nine hits in his last 14 at-bats.  The Mets improved to 16-4 when Reyes scores a run this season and 264-108 since the start of the 2005 season.

Mets SP Mike Pelfrey is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.43 ERA in six home starts in 2010 (+400).  The right-hander suffered his only season defeat at Citizens Bank Park on May, allowing six runs and eight hits in just over four innings.  He must do a better job of keeping the Phillies’ hitters inside the ball park, as they’ve hit four home runs off him in his last two starts against them.  Pelfrey has been dominating under the lights this season, compiling a perfect 5-0 record and 1.85 ERA in six starts (39 IP), a far cry from his 5.09 ERA during the day (17.2 IP).

The starting pitching matchup suggests a tight contest, which brings in the possibility of playing the run-line with the home team.  New York is 14-3 when using the run-line in night home games (+1,310), which fits nicely with Pelfrey’s perfect record at night.

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