The New York Mets (4-2) and Philadelphia Phillies (3-3) will meet up for the first time during the 2012 MLB season on Friday night inside Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies open up a three-game National League East series against the New York Mets on Friday night

New York heads out on its first road trip of the season after enjoying a day off on Thursday, as the team dropped two of three games to the Washington Nationals to finish off a 4-2 homestand.  The Mets played without the services of third baseman David Wright in the series finale, suffering a broken right pinkie on a head-first slide in Monday’s contest.  It’s a disappointing injury when you consider he was batting .583 in his first four games.  New York is 24-17 when playing after an off day the last two-plus seasons.

Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (1-0, 3.00 ERA) is coming off a 4-2 home win over the Atlanta Braves in his first start of the season, allowing two runs and five hits over six solid innings.  The right-hander will be facing the Phillies for the seventh time in his career, coming in with a 2-3 record and 2.61 ERA, allowing just 33 hits in 38 combined frames.  It’s important to note that he’s never won inside tonight’s venue, posting an 0-2 mark and 6.00 ERA in two starts.

Philadelphia evened its record after six games and comes off a solid 3-1 home victory against the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.  The Phillies are coming off a season that saw them post a 52-29 home record, which was tied with the New York Yankees for the second-best mark in baseball, trailing only the Milwaukee Brewers (57-24).  Much of the team’s success in that situation was due to a pitching staff posting a 2.83 home ERA, which was only bested by the San Francisco Giants (2.81 ERA).  Philadelphia is 33-21 in April the last two-plus seasons.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50 ERA) received a no-decision in the team’s 2-1 road loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first start of the year on April 7, surrendering just a single run and two hits over six strong innings.  The left-hander is a perfect 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three career starts versus the Mets, issuing just five walks and tallying 17 strikeouts in 21 frames.  Lee has compiled a tremendous 15-7 record and 3.01 ERA in 32 career April starts.

Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 19-7 record in Lee’s last 26 starts as a home favorite, while the Mets are 1-5 in Dickey’s last six chances as a road underdog of +151 to +200.

Recommendation: Philadelphia Phillies -175

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