Five players to watch in first Phillies-Mets series of 2018 season

mchowansky
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 32: Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a first inning single to knock in a run against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on March 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 32: Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a first inning single to knock in a run against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on March 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 29: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets pitches in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at Citi Field on March 29, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Noah Syndergaard

2017 was a lost year for Noah Syndergaard as he made just seven starts the entire season. He missed five months due to a torn lat muscle when he was supposed to be following up an All-Star 2016 season.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Syndergaard came back strong in his first start this year, striking out ten Cardinals without allowing a single walk in six innings. He did allow four runs on six hits, but a 3.86 fielding-independent pitching from his first start indicates that his start was much better than the run total indicated.

In six career starts against the Phillies, Syndergaard has a 1.78 ERA, 0.877 WHIP, and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Maikel Franco is the only player on the roster with a career batting average over .250 against Syndergaard. Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, and Aaron Altherr have all struggled against him. The Phillies will have to hope some of the players who have yet to face him in their career can find some success.

Next: How do Phillies rebound this week against Mets?

Facing Syndergaard in the second game of this now-abridged series will make it significantly harder for them to win the series.

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