Series Preview: Red Hot Phillies head to New York

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The Phillies are walking into what might be their biggest series of the season this weekend as they travel to New York to take on the Mets. The Phils have been red hot as of late, winning 13 of their last 15 games. The Phillies have moved into the playoff picture and look to maintain their current standing.

The Mets have run away with the National League East title for most of the 2022 season. As it stands, the Mets have a seven-game lead over the Atlanta Braves and a 10.5-game lead over the Phillies. New York has withstood injuries to their best players and has maintained a strong lead. With roughly two months to go in the season, the Phillies are going to have to play their best baseball to try and catch their rivals.

These two teams will meet for the final seven times this season over the course of the next two weekends. A strong performance in New York in the next three days could go a long way in shaking up the National League East.

New Look Phillies

The Phillies have not played the Mets since May 29th of this season. The two teams played a lot against each other to start the season. The Phillies that played New York all those months ago are not the same Phillies that we are watching today. The most notable change is that Joe Girardi is not leading the club against New York this go round, and Rob Thomson will get his chance.

The season series between the two clubs is very lopsided. They are 3-9 against New York this year and would have to win each of the remaining seven games to win the season series. While the chances of that are not likely, the Phillies can build back towards the Mets in these seven games.

Pitching Masterclass

The pitching matchups that will be seen in this weekend’s series will be fantastic. The following matchups should provide some excellent pitching, which is almost rare in today’s game.

Game 1: Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.68 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (8-2, 1.98 ERA)

Game 2: Aaron Nola (8-8, 3.17 ERA) vs Jacob deGrom (1-0, 2.53 ERA)

Game 3: Zack Wheeler (11-5, 2.63 ERA) vs Chris Bassitt (9-7, 3.39 ERA)

Each of these matchups will feature some of the best arms in baseball. There is no doubt that Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are two future Hall of Famers in this game. However, the difference in talent between Scherzer-deGrom and Wheeler-Nola is hardly a drop-off. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola can certainly hold their own, and this series will come down to the team that pitches the cleanest games.

Playoff Watch

There is still a lot of baseball left to be played this season. While the Phillies have 51 games remaining entering this series, the playoffs are already underway. The Phillies trail the Atlanta Braves by 3.5 games for the top Wild Card position. The Phillies lead the San Diego Padres by half a game and then lead the Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games. Every game and every series for the rest of the year holds a lot of weight.

The chances of the Phillies winning the National League East have become very slim at this point in the season. With the club behind New York by 10.5 games, the Mets will have to open the door for Philly to slide back in. Taking 5 or 6 of the next seven against New York can cut the Mets’ lead in half for the Phillies. After that, it’s up to other teams to beat New York, and the Phillies must take care of business.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

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