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The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets meet in a three-game series this weekend at Citi Field, in what is a must-sweep scenario for the Phils. If Philly has any chance to get into the playoffs, they must start sweeping some series as we approach September. If you think the Mets can avoid a sweep, it would be a great time to take advantage of the Caesars NY Promo Code which scores a $1,500 risk-free wager.

Two of baseball’s greatest pitchers will likely be on the bump for the Mets this weekend: Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

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High expectations: New York Mets World Series odds

Pitching Matchup: Phillies at Mets, Aug. 12

Ranger Suárez (8-5, 3.68 ERA, 85 K) vs. Max Scherzer (8-2, 1.98 ERA, 120 K)

Early in his career, when Max Scherzer was still ironing out his pitching repertoire, he was obsessive about secrecy. Sure, he seems intense now, but what’s more frightening than seeing Mad Max stomp a path around the mound as he dominates an opposing lineup with his sinking slider and a four-seams fastball that seems to accelerate, and BOOM! jump in the last two feet as it nears home plate.

But as a younger pitcher, Scherzer carried his devotion to the extreme. When he worked with his bullpen catcher and pitching coach in Detroit, Max required any observers to sign a non-disclosure so none of his tweaks and pitch strategies could be leaked to enemy teams. Dedication, indeed.

In 2022, at the age of 37, Scherzer is still Mad Max, and his two-pitch reliance is getting plenty of swings and misses. According to Baseball Savant, the Mets right-hander is sixth in MLB in lowest exit velocity, which proves that even when a batter makes contact, it’s generally harmless.

In his last outing, Scherzer struck out 11 Braves and tossed seven shutout innings. Since he returned from forearm soreness in mid-July, the future Hall of Famer has fanned 50 batters in 40 innings, while walking six.

PROP BET TO CONSIDER: Max Scherzer to record more than 7.5 strikeouts (-146 at Caesars Sportsbook).

Hot Hitters: Mets and Phillies

New York Mets

Remember when Francisco Lindor was the most exciting young player in baseball? Well, after a stinker of a 2020 season as a new Met, the shortstop is heating up. Lindor has hit .359 with 14 hits (three homers) in August, helping the team to a 9-2 record this month. Watch Pete Alonso (.333 in August with 11 RBI), Brandon Nimmo (.342), and Jeff McNeil, who leads the team with 16 hits this month (good for a .400 average).

Philadelphia Phillies

Rhys Hoskins has four home runs this month, with a .760 slugging percentage. The Philadelphia infielder has typically struggled against the Mets (.219 lifetime), but he has 15 HR against the team. Rookie Darick Hall is nearly invisible for several reasons. One is the fact he’s a 27-year-old first-year player who spent nine years in the minors. But here he is, and he’s hit .400 (8-for-20) in August. With the Phillies in a transition year of sorts where the front office is evaluating everyone with keen interest, Hall is making the best of his chances.

MLB Leaders: NY Yankees World Series Odds

FAQ About the NL East Division Race

When was the last time the Mets won the NL East?

The Mets last won the National League East in 2015 the same year they advanced to the World Series, where they lost to the Royals.

Surprisingly, the Mets have only won five NL East titles since the divisional era began in 1969. Despite being one of the best teams in baseball in the 1980s, the franchise only finished first in that decade in 1986 and 1988.

Which team has the toughest schedule down the stretch in the NL East?

The NL East is a team-two race at best. The defending world champions Atlanta Braves are seven games back of the Mets as of Aug. 11, with about 50 games remaining.

The Mets have seven games remaining against Atlanta, including the last three of the season in early October. The Mets have eight other games remaining against current playoff teams other than Atlanta (Yankees, Brewers, Dodgers). New York must go to the Yankees later this month for two games.

Atlanta must face the Astros, Mariners, and Cardinals down the stretch, including trips to Seattle and St. Louis. Then they have those seven games against the Mets, but all of them are in Atlanta.

It appears the Braves, as the chasers have a tougher schedule to get within a fighting chance to steal the NL East from the Mets.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a writer for NY Sports Day. He has also written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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