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Philadelphia vs. NY Mets, 08/28/2013 19:10
Money Line: -154 Philadelphia
It's taken nearly the entire season, but this is the time to finally back lefty Cole Hamels.
The Phillies are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They have won the past six times they've been chalk. The Mets are 0-7 in their last seven home games versus a southpaw.
Hamels is pitching well now after a horrendous start compiling a 2.00 ERA in his last six starts. Hamels has yielded just six walks during this span while pitching at least seven innings in each of his outings. He's facing a decimated Mets lineup that featured three rookies and seldom-used Andrew Brown last night.
The Mets just traded veteran Marlon Byrd and John Buck. They also are without their best hitter, David Wright. He's on the DL with a hamstring injury. Those hitters - all right-handed - accounted for 46 percent of the Mets' home runs this season.
The Mets' morale could be at its lowest point with the horrible news that Matt Harvey has a tear in his elbow and may not pitch again until 2014.
The Mets still have some good young starting pitchers - but today's starter, Daisuke Matsuzaka, - is not one of them. It's a sad testimony to the high number of Mets' mound injuries that Matsuzaka has even been resurrected. It's been more than a year since he last won in the big leagues.
Matsuzaka is a shot pitcher. Injuries and a long career have greatly reduced his velocity. He's been toiling in the Indians farm system until pitching this past Friday against the Tigers. That didn't go well for him. The Tigers scored five runs off him in five innings.
This matchup isn't likely to go well either for Matsuzaka.
(Editor's note: Vegas pro Stephen Nover also has his Baseball Game of the Week going today.)