After a much-needed off day on Thursday, the Mets will begin a four-game series at home with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The series kicks off on Friday with the Mets' third double header in the past six days. It's also the Mets' third-straight four-game series against a division opponent.

In their last matchup, the Mets took two-of-three in the first weekend of May, but lost two key pieces of their lineup in Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis, who we haven't seen since. New York is 6-3 against the Phillies this season.

The Mets are 38-31 and 3.5 games up in the NL East, while the Phillies have lost 4-of-10 to fall back into third-place at 34-37.

With the first game of the double header scheduled to begin at 4:10 pm ET, Inside the Mets is here to preview the key matchups in this series between division rivals.

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Taijuan Walker vs. Aaron Nola

As stellar as right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker has been for the Mets this season, he is coming off a rare hiccup of a start.

Walker got roughed up against the Washington Nationals over the weekend, which saw him give up four runs on 10 hits across 6.1 innings in a 5-2 loss.

The right-hander's ERA jumped up from 2.12 to 2.42, which is still astounding. He will look to bounce back against a Phillies lineup that has the 11th ranked offense in MLB, averaging 4.35 runs per game.

Phillies ace Aaron Nola- who hasn't pitched like one this season - will get the ball in Game 1 of the double header. 

Nola is coming off a rough start against the San Francisco Giants, where he lasted just 2.1 innings, surrendering six runs.

The right-hander holds a 5.85 ERA in the month of June, and has given up five home runs in his last four starts.

Game 2: David Peterson vs. Matt Moore

After a nightmare start to his sophomore campaign, Mets pitcher David Peterson has bounced back to allow just one run, to go along with nine strikeouts in his last 10.2 innings across two outings.

With the latest injuries suffered in the rotation, the Mets need Peterson to continue trending in the right direction. And he is starting to look closer to his rookie season form, where he went 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA. A huge part of Peterson's recent success comes from his tight command and sharp slider, which have been on display in his last two starts.

In the night cap, veteran left-hander Matt Moore will go for the Phils.' Moore was recently activated from the IL and has not pitched since May 20.

The southpaw has only started three games this year after multiple IL stints and six relief appearances. He currently holds a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in 18.1 innings.

Game 3: Jacob deGrom vs. Zach Eflin

Following multiple injury scares in back-to-back starts, Mets ace Jacob deGrom avoided his second IL stint this season and delivered another dazzling performance in his last outing.

deGrom went five shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, striking out six, while allowing just one hit and walking two.

While length is still a concern for deGrom as the Mets ease him back in to avoid any additional ailments, the two-time Cy Young Award winner has still dominated and the Phillies' lineup is likely dreading their matchup with him on Saturday.

On the other side, the Phillies will give the ball to Zach Eflin, who is coming off a rough start against the San Francisco Giants, where he allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings.

Eflin has endured an abysmal June, where he has allowed a 5.63 ERA across his last three starts. This poor month comes after a mediocre May, where the righty went 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA.

Game 4: Jerad Eickhoff vs. Zack Wheeler

In the fourth-and-final game of the series, Jerad Eickhoff will make his second start for the Mets this season.

And this one will be special for Eickhoff, as he will face the only team he has ever played for in the big leagues in the Phillies, where he pitched from 2015-19.

Eickhoff is coming off a solid season debut for the Mets, where he tossed four shutout innings against the Braves, while striking out three and walking three.

As it turns out, both starting pitchers in this game will be facing their old team. 

The Phillies will send out former Met in right-hander Zack Wheeler, who has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season.

Wheeler leads all major league pitchers with a 4.3 WAR, is fourth in strikeouts with 122 and 12th with a 2.36 ERA.

However, he is coming off his worst and shortest start of the season, where he lasted only three innings (73 pitches), allowing three runs on six hits.

Outlook

The Mets' offense was anemic for the past week - until they got some juice back to their lineup in the form of Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto.

After getting shut out four times in seven days, the Amazins' exploded for seven runs in their last contest, showing what they are capable of when at full strength.

New York is ranked second in the majors with a 3.11 staff ERA, while the Phillies are 17th with a 4.31 ERA.

The Phillies' rotation has been shaky, and their bullpen has been a nightmare. After a strong start to his 2021 campaign, closer Hector Neris has blown three out of his last four save opportunities, holding a 10.80 ERA in June.

As for the Phillies' lineup, Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Andrew McCutchen are all swinging hot bats. But luckily for the Amazins', they will not have to face Met killer Jean Segura who is on the IL with a groin strain. Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius will also likely miss the series after beginning a rehab assignment on Thursday.