New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies Prediction, Preview & Odds -- August 8, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Where to watch: SNY, NBCSP

Season-to-date (as of Saturday)
Mets: 56-54 (2nd place, NL East)
Phillies: 58-53 (1st place, NL East)

Recent lineups


Mets:
Brandon Nimmo (L) CF
Pete Alonso (R) 1B
J.D. Davis (R) 3B
Javier Baez (R) SS
Brandon Drury (R) RF
Jonathan Villar (S) 2B
James McCann (R) C
Kevin Pillar (R) LF
Taijuan Walker (R) P

Phillies:
Odubel Herrera (L) LF
Jean Segura (R) 2B
Bryce Harper (L) RF
J.T. Realmuto (R) C
Brad Miller (L) 1B
Alec Bohm (R) 3B
Ronald Torreyes (R) SS
Travis Jankowski (L) CF
Zack Wheeler (R) P


Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Phillies -170, Mets +150; O/U 8
BetMGM: Phillies -160, Mets +135

Recent form

Mets: Losers of six of seven
Phillies: Winners of seven straight

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Mets - Phillies Preview


Leave it to the New York Mets to let their fans down one more time.

All they had to do was limit the screw-ups just a tad. Not many teams can be gifted first place in a division that is full of incompetence and dread and still find ways to squander it. But alas, the Mets have done that for the bulk of two decades.

And because they haven’t been able to put together that form of consistency, the Philadelphia Phillies have found a way to jump them and make this race for the leaders of the NL (L)East more entertaining than it should be.

The Phillies and Mets will conclude their three-game series on Sunday in what could be the turning point for the National League East as the season goes. Philadelphia took the division lead Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Mets. Recently-acquired Kyle Gibson allowed only one run in six innings, while Bryce Harper’s decisive homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

But it’s been the arrival of Gibson that has given Philadelphia a jolt in its starting rotation. He’s had two quality starts since coming over from the Texas Rangers, both victories, allowing only three earned runs in those two appearances.

“Overall, I'm a fairly even-keeled guy, but that overflow of emotion just kind of happens in some of those big situations,” Gibson said. “I don't know that I really could imagine what this atmosphere would look like. It’s met or exceeded every one of my expectations and the excitement I had coming here.”

The Phillies’ offense has also picked up during their six-game winning streak entering Saturday. Philadelphia totaled at least five runs in each of their past six games with the exclusion of Friday night.

On July 31, following a 3-2 walkoff loss to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies were 51-53 and 4.5 games behind New York. One week later, the Mets’ mishaps have turned to the Phillies’ fortunes, as well as a winning record for manager Joe Girardi in early August.

The Mets were treading water last week and hoped that the addition of Javy Baez would keep them in the fold. Instead, the Mets lost hold of first place in the division for the first time since May 8 and are now scrambling for answers. They will still be without Jacob deGrom until at least September, and the offense squandered despite a quality outing from Marcus Stroman on Friday.

“It’s not fun,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. “We’re all competitors. We all want to win. We know this is a big series. We know the last series was a big series. We’re not going out there trying to lose, so it sucks. It’s not fun at all.”

The Mets have lost 10 of 13, and the road doesn’t get easier. Following the road trip to Philly, they return home for three against the Washington Nationals starting Tuesday and three against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Then they hit the road for three at San Francisco and four more at L.A.

Trends


Outside of the Phillies being undefeated in the month of August, there’s been some mild success when it comes to Philadelphia being heavy favorites. The Phillies are 9-6 (+1.3 units) when a favorite of -150 or more.

The under has also favored the Phillies. Philadelphia is 38-27 when the total lands on 7 to 8.5, and are 23-13 as a home favorite when the line is -110 or higher. The under has also cashed eight times out of 14 appearances this season when Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler has made an appearance. His teams are 18-18 in the last three years.

Philadelphia is 6-2 in day games when Wheeler is on the mound, but the under is 13-9 in all of his appearances this season.

The over has favored the Mets when Taijuan Walker has been on the bump, cashing four times out of six appearances. The Mets, however, are 14-6 (+8 units) when Walker starts. He’s only been credited for seven of those wins, but New York tends to score when he starts; the over is 11-8 this season.


Prediction


In a matchup like this, the best bet is to take the red-hot team. Philadelphia has gotten better pitching and timely hitting in the last week while the Mets continue to figure things out. The home crowd should also play a factor. If Friday was any indication to the playoff-like atmosphere that’s to come, more should be on the way as this series revs up. Phillies win, under cashes.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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