Phillies have no room for error against Mets this weekend

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: Cesar Hernandez #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies puts out Jeff McNeil #68 of the New York Mets on a double play in the ninth inning during the MLB Little League Classic BB&T Ballpark on August 19, 2018 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: Cesar Hernandez #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies puts out Jeff McNeil #68 of the New York Mets on a double play in the ninth inning during the MLB Little League Classic BB&T Ballpark on August 19, 2018 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /
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Simply put, the Phillies cannot afford to lose another series to the Mets over the weekend as it may be the difference in the division.

I know we’ve been saying this for the last month, but the Phillies really need to win this weekend’s series against the Mets. Continually losing games to below-average teams could wind up being the difference between making and missing the playoffs this season.

Philadelphia is 5-8 against the Mets this season. They have not won a single series against them, only managing two series splits. Altogether, Philadelphia is just 22-23 against the teams worse than them in the division this season.

Meanwhile, the Braves are 35-16 against the Nationals, Marlins, and Mets. Couple that with a 7-5 record against the Phils, they have more than overcome a 42-44 record against teams outside the NL East. The Braves still have nine games against teams outside of the division and just three more against the Nationals and Mets each. If Philadelphia is going to bounce back in the division, they better hope the Braves’ remain below .500 against teams outside of the division.

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Of course, that doesn’t mean anything if the Phils can’t win their own games. It has now been over a month since they last won a series after dropping another winnable series to the Marlins this week. Like the Mets, they are a team that shouldn’t be giving Philadelphia any trouble, yet they continue to.

Aaron Nola will start Friday night, giving the team a great chance to open the series with a win. Of course, they still have to score runs against Steven Matz.

He is coming off two seven-inning, one-run outings.

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Philadelphia’s starters will be outclassed in the next two starts. Zach Eflin will square off against Noah Syndergaard Saturday night, while Vince Velasquez will have to face Jacob deGrom Sunday afternoon. The Phils were actually able to get to Syndergaard the last time they played, knocking eight hits and scoring four runs. They will definitely have to replicate that success as Eflin has struggled in recent weeks. deGrom shut Philadelphia down in his last outing against them, allowing only one unearned run in a complete game. He has been dominant all season long, so Velasquez will almost certainly have to deliver a gem.

As mentioned previously, none of this matters if the offense doesn’t show up. They exploded for a nine-run outburst Tuesday night then completely disappeared Wednesday. New York’s starters are much better than Miami’s, which could spell bad news for the Phils.

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Simply put, if the Phils have any chance of climbing back into the division race, this weekend needs to be the start of the turnaround.

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