Mets vs Phillies Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Wheeler Gets Dealt Tough Afternoon

With the Phillies in a funk and the Mets rolling with a spot-starter for Game 1 of today's doubleheader, we're getting a great price with a perceived disadvantage on the mound. Count on the Mets bats to take advantage.

Phil Naessens - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Phil Naessens • Betting Analyst
Aug 20, 2022 • 10:32 ET • 4 min read
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The Phillies have lost three of their last five. Can Wheeler get them back on track?

We have Game 2 of a scheduled three-game series, but they’ll make up their canceled May 6, 2022, contest as the first game of a Saturday doubleheader.

The National League East is heating up, and last night’s 7-2 loss left Philadelphia 11 games behind the Mets in the standings. Can the Phillies strike back? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for August 20, 2022.

Mets vs Phillies odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

New York opened as +150 underdogs, and that number has been bet down to as low as +140. The total opened at eight runs and has moved to 8.5 runs at some shops. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Mets vs Phillies predictions

Picks made on 8/20/2022 at 5:10 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Mets vs Phillies game info

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Saturday, August 20, 2022
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET
TV: SNY, NBCS-PHI

Mets vs Phillies betting preview

Starting pitchers

Trevor Williams (2-5, 3.02 ERA): Williams is making a spot start today and is 2-4 over his eight starts this season. Williams has a 3.02 xERA with a 4.04 xFIP on the season with a slightly lower away xFIP (3.90) and strikes out seven per nine. He does allow 1.61 bombs per nine frames pitched away from Citi Field, and his 43 percent fly ball rate is the highest of his career (36%).

Zack Wheeler (11-6, 2.92 ERA): Wheeler was lit up by New York in his last start, surrendering six earned runs with five strikeouts over six away innings pitched. The veteran righty sports season totals of a 3.09 xERA with a 3.19 xFIP, but his home splits are even better, posting a 3.12 xFIP while whiffing 9.83 batters per nine frames on the hill. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Over is 5-0-1 in Williams' last six starts overall. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Phillies

Mets vs Phillies picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

It’s hard not to like the Mets as large underdogs today. 

New York hitters rake against righties: the Mets rank second in OBP (.332) and wRC+ (116) with an above average ISO (.154) that makes them a tough customer for right-handers to deal with. 

Williams has been serviceable for the Mets and is making a spot start for the injured Carrasco. He spun a two-hit shutout over seven innings against Miami in July and hasn’t allowed an earned run over his previous 20 innings pitched.

Wheeler suffered a loss in his last start against these very same Mets in New York, and is 0-2 against the Mets over three starts this season. He has a 4-3 career record against New York with a 3.03 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 71.1 frames. 

When healthy, the Phillies have one of the better offenses in the game against righties, but they’ve been shut out in three of their last six contests. They slash .245/.305/.412/.715 against righties this season, but currently, that offense is riding the struggle bus and can’t seem to score runs.

Finally, the Mets bullpen in general, and closer Edwin Diaz in particular, will be too much for the Phillies bats to deal with. Diaz has been amazing this season with a 1.30 ERA, 0.75 xFIP, and 17.88 strikeouts per nine innings. The Mets closer hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 21 appearances and if New York gives him a lead, that’s the ballgame, and that’s exactly what I expect to happen on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Mets moneyline (+150 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

8.0 runs is a good number for this contest.

The Under is 3-1-1 over Wheeler’s last five starts, but the Over is 57-55-5 overall and 26-20-4 when playing as the favorite at Citizens Bank Park.

Mets’ contests are 13-8-3 when New York is the away underdog and 5-0-1 over Williams’ past six starts. Williams’ 4.0 xFIP suggests that trend could and likely will continue today.

The Mets bats are huge, and they hammered Wheeler in their last meeting. That, and some probable regression from Williams, points us in the only logical direction, and that’s to play the Over today.

Prediction: Over 8.0 (-118 at BetRivers)

Best bet

We’re going with the Mets moneyline play today.

The Mets are a .500 team as away underdogs, but Philadelphia without Cory Knebal is going to be difficult to overcome. An already-depleted bullpen threw 65 pitches last night, making a shaky bullpen even shakier.

The Phillies' offense has plated only 17 runs over their past five games, and while some would like to blame their woes on Harper, the Phillies are 30-24 without Harper in the lineup. Something else is going on, and they are a hard pass for me until they figure things out.  

Pick: Mets moneyline (+150 at FanDuel)  

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