While the New York Mets have been an up-and-down organization in recent years, one constant has been their dominance of the Philadelphia Phillies, who host the Mets for a season-ending three-game series starting Friday night. New York has won 11 of 16 meetings this season, is 50-23 against the Phillies since 2014 and has won six straight season series between the National League East rivals.
The Mets enter this encounter on a good note after taking three straight against Atlanta to close out their home schedule - potentially the final games in New York for manager Terry Collins, whose contract expires after this season. Regardless of who is managing the Mets next season, they will hope for a bounce-back effort from struggling right-hander Matt Harvey, who starts the series opener looking for some positives to take into the offseason. The 28-year-old is 9-16 with a 5.71 ERA over the last two injury-ravaged campaigns and will be tendered a contract to return to the team, according to reports. The Phillies took two of three from Washington to begin their six-game homestand.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Matt Harvey (5-6, 6.60 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Ben Lively (3-7, 4.35)
Harvey is 1-3 with an 11.78 ERA in five appearances this month after returning from a shoulder injury. He allowed three runs and four hits - two home runs - over four innings of relief Saturday against Washington. The North Carolina product defeated the Phillies with 5 2/3 solid innings April 11 and he is 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 career meetings.
Lively dominated the Mets in his first start this month and followed it up with eight solid frames at Washington, but he’s struggled ever since. The Florida native surrendered two runs in three innings in a rain-shortened start two turns ago and was rocked for six runs across five innings at Atlanta last Friday. Lively is 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA in five home starts, giving up seven home runs in 25 innings.
1. Phillies RHP Hector Neris has successfully converted 20 straight saves for a bullpen that owns a 2.52 ERA over a 30-game stretch.
2. Mets C Travis d’Arnaud has 12 RBIs in his last eight games.
3. New York is 6-1 in Citizens Bank Park this year.
PREDICTION: Phillies 6, Mets 5