The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets are two games into a four-game series thanks to a doubleheader played on Monday. Both teams walked away with a victory and now, heading into today’s Game 3 (7:10 PM ET, Tuesday), will be looking to take a lead in the series.
They will both be doing it with guys making their major league debut on the mound.
Pitching Probables: (NYM) Drew Gagnon vs (PHI) Enyel De Los Santos
It’s not often in major league baseball that two guys, both of whom are making their big league debuts, face off against each other but that’s exactly what will be happening in Game 3.
Taking the mound for New York is the righty, Drew Gagnon. The 28-year-old Gagnon was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB Draft but opted to attend college at Long Beach State University instead. In 2011, Gagnon was drafted yet again but this time he signed as a third round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gagnon worked as both a reliever and starter and had up and down seasons during his seven years in the minors. In 2016, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels and in 2017, as a free agent, signed with the Mets. He pitched just one game for Double-A Binghamton before being promoted to the Las Vegas 51s where he pitched pretty well. In 17 starts, Gagnon went 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He also has a SO/9 ratio of 9.15. In his last five starts, Gagnon has a 2.45 ERA.
Opposing Gagnon will be fellow righty, Enyel De Los Santos. The 22-year-old De Los Santos entered the season as the 15th ranked prospect in the Phillies organization. He has since moved up to 11th, boasting a plus-fastball and two additional major league quality pitches in his changeup and curveball. Hitting them curve consistently has been somewhat of an issue for De Los Santos but he has excelled with his 95-98 MPH fastball as well as his solid change with a good fade to it.
De Los Santos, who was drafted in 2014 by the Seattle Mariners, spent the majority of his early career in the San Diego Padres organization, where he was traded to in 2015. De Los Santos then found himself traded again as the Phillies parted ways with infielder Freddy Galvis in order to add depth to their pitching prospects. In his first season with Philadelphia, at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, De Los Santos dazzled, going 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 16 starts. He has struck out 87 in 95.1 innings pitched, good enough for a 1.08 WHIP. As a result of his early season success, De Los Santos was chosen to represent the Phillies at the 2018 All-Star Futures Game (taking place during All Star weekend) as well as the Triple-A All Star Game, taking place on Wednesday.
Much like Gagnon, not much is known regarding De Los Santos and what to expect from the major league level. No hitter on either team has experience facing De Los Santos or Gagnon so it could really come down to whichever team adjusts to their new pitching opponent.
By the Numbers
Since the pitching situation is a bit of a toss-up, we will take a look at some of the other numbers which very well could inform today’s Game 3.
When it comes to run scoring, neither the Phillies nor the Mets have been particularly successful this season. Philadelphia ranks 11th in the National League with 386 while New York is dead last with just 336 runs scored on the season. As far as hits, the Phillies (680) and Mets (662) are second to last and last respectively, in that category as well. That is a large part of the reason why the Mets are just 36-52 on the season and 13.5 games back of the Phillies and Atlanta Braves, who are tied for first place in the NL East.
Both the Phillies and Mets are average power-hitting teams with Philadelphia currently sitting on 99 home runs, which is seventh best in the NL and New York with 90, which is 11th. Looking at batting average, the Phillies are hitting just .235 compared to a league-worst .229 for the Mets.
Offense has been a struggle for these teams but there is a reason why the Mets are in third and the Phillies are tied for first in that division. It’s not just pitching but rather, plate discipline. Philadelphia, which has one of the youngest rosters in the league, is sixth in the NL in on base percentage with .320. The Mets rank second to last in that category with just .309. To that note, the Phillies have the third most walks in the NL with 341 and have two players that rank among the top-seven and three within the top-17 in the MLB as far as walks on the season.
Moving over to the mound and specifically, bullpens, the Phillies have the fourth highest number of saves on the season with 26. That might be hard to believe for a team that has had as many issues winning games in the seventh inning or later as the Phillies have. Philadelphia is ranked third in quality starts with 50 which have lessened some of the burden on the pen especially as of late. The Mets on the other hand, have had issues from the mound as well, ranking just 12th in quality starts, 11th in ERA and 10th in batting average against.
Our Preview’s Philadelphia Phillies vs New York Mets Predictions for Game 3 with Picks
The Phillies and Mets have met four times this season and despite Philadelphia being the better team in the standings, it has been New York that has had their number in the head-to-head. The Mets have won three of the four meetings so far. That makes the Mets the second toughest team for the Phillies to play as only the Atlanta Braves with seven wins in their 12 meetings, have a better record against Philadelphia.
These are the Philadelphia Phillies vs New York Mets predictions of this preview: