Two frustrating teams meet tonight at Citi Field, as Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies face Carlos Carrasco and the New York Mets as slight road favorites with a total that is on the rise.
Carrasco is just two starts removed from an elbow injury and is seeing his strikeout rates and velocity drop from last season, while his walks and home runs are up. Can an inconsistent Philadelphia offense take advantage of a great matchup tonight with decent hitting conditions?
Find out where my best bet lies in our MLB picks and predictions for Phillies vs. Mets on Wednesday, May 31.
Phillies vs Mets odds
Phillies vs Mets predictions
Carlos Carrasco is coming off his best start of the season for the Mets, and will be making his third turn after missing a month thanks to an elbow injury. However, this is still a struggling pitcher who is not missing bats and is having issues with command. He even has a .224 BABIP, which suggests things could be even worse.
The New York right-hander has yet to record five strikeouts over his last five starts and has a 13.3% K%, which is 10 points shorter than his rate a season ago. His fastball (34%) has seen a significant dip in velocity this year compared to last season, with a 1.7-mph drop year-over-year. His xwOBA has also seen a 50-point jump on that slower primary offering.
There are a couple of ways to approach this in terms of markets, but I prefer to look at earned runs, and specifically the Over 2.5 -120 at bet365.
The Phillies have been an underperforming offense, but there is a decent 9-mph wind blowing out to left field, and this is still a lineup capable of quickly hanging crooked numbers.
Carrasco has already allowed 18 earned runs over 18-plus innings vs. Oakland, Miami, Milwaukee, and Cleveland — four of the weaker offenses in baseball.
With the New York right-hander not missing bats, allowing free passes at his highest rate over his career, and dealing with hitter park conditions, I’m high on his Over 2.5 earned run today at Citi Field. THE BAT is projecting 3.22 earned runs today, the fifth-highest projection of all starting pitchers today, and the second-highest of pitchers with 2.5 totals.
The -120 Over price is implying roughly 2.6 earned runs, giving bettors 0.62 runs of value, which is significant.
My best bet: Carrasco Over 2.5 earned runs (-120)
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Phillies vs Mets moneyline analysis
The Phillies opened as -130 road favorites, which bettors quickly moved to -120. I still feel the Phillies should be the favorites here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they closed at -115.
Aaron Nola is not having the best of seasons to begin 2023, but he has the advantage over Carrasco, who is dealing with the same issues as Nola is (drops in K% and velocity and an increase in BB% and HR/FB%). But the New York starter's issues are more significant.
Carrasco has made five starts this season, with four of them coming against Bottom-15 offenses with Miami being the second-best offense he’s seen this year. His high ERA is certainly representative of his pitching this season, which included a month on the IL with an elbow issue.
Philadelphia has been one of the more disappointing teams to back this season, as it sits at -9.94 units on the moneyline. But the Mets have been even more inconsistent, taking -10.62 units from bettors who have backed them on the moneyline each game this season.
Nola’s long leash will help protect a below-average Philadelphia bullpen, while Carrasco’s chances of getting 18 outs (no total outs market) will leave innings for a New York bullpen that currently sits 28th in WAR. I think the Phillies have even more value in the first five innings moneyline, meaning the visitors could be digging into the Mets’ bullpen in the later innings.
It might be best to wait for the Phillies to move to -115 before taking them on the moneyline.
Phillies vs Mets Over/Under analysis
This total opened at 8.5, but is starting to move to 9 across the board.
This is likely being driven by two inconsistent starters who will hand things over to bullpens that have been hard to trust this season. The hitting conditions with 9-mph winds blowing out to left field are also favoring the Over.
Both of these offenses have been slightly overvalued this season, as each club has been profitable to the Under. But the Philadelphia matchup vs. Carrasco certainly favors the Over, with the starter projected to give up over three earned runs over 16 total outs.
There could be a lot of work for the New York bullpen tonight, which is more good news for the Over, as it is just one of three teams with a negative WAR for relievers, per FanGraphs.
If bettors missed the Over 8.5, a solid pivot would be to the first five innings Over 4.5, as that market is slowly correcting to a flat 5 thanks to the move from 8.5 to 9.
Early runs are projected, but late sweats could turn into profitable ones with the state of each bullpen. I’m leaning on the Over but am unlikely to play unless I can get the 8.5 at -125 or better, as I have certainly lost money this season betting on both offenses.
Phillies vs Mets game info
|Location:||Citi Field, Queens, NY|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 31, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:10 p.m. ET|
Aaron Nola (4-3, 4.59 ERA): It hasn’t been a great season for Nola, who sits well below 100 in ERA+, and the Phillies are 5-6 SU over his 11 starts. His CSW% is solid at 30%, but he’s giving up home runs and his numbers look more like 2021 vs. 2022, which is significant. His strikeouts are down, his walks and home runs are up, and the velocity on his fastball is one mph slower this season. THE BAT projects 97 pitches, 17.9 outs, 5.58 strikeouts, and 2.76 earned runs.
Carlos Carrasco (1-2, 6.75 ERA): Carrasco has already hit the shelf this season with an elbow injury, and will be making his third start since coming off the IL. Like Nola, the right-hander’s walks and home runs are up while his strikeouts are down. He’s struggled against some of the weakest offenses in baseball and is dealing with a velocity drop as well. THE BAT is projecting 92 pitches, 16 outs, 4.71 strikeouts, and 3.22 earned runs.
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