Three ALDS matchups are set after the Guardians, Mariners and Phillies swept their way to a berth in the next round. The only series that hasn’t had a close finish is the only one left undecided, as the Mets and Padres meet at Citi Field in Game 3 at 7:07 p.m. ET.
I’ll have series previews on Monday in a similar format with the ALDS in one article and the NLDS in another, with Guardians vs. Yankees, Mariners vs. Astros and Phillies vs. Braves as the three series we know about. Tonight’s winner draws a cross-country trip to face the Dodgers on Tuesday.
San Diego Padres at New York Mets (-140, 6.5)
DraftKings has the highest market price on the Mets at -140, so if you do like the Kings of Queens, you can find them cheaper at other places. Shop around if you like the Padres as well because you can find some dime lines at other books, or at least a better price than %plussign% 120.
My concerns about the Padres bullpen were on display yesterday, as the Mets added four insurance runs in the seventh to turn a tight 3-2 game into a 7-2 laugher. Blake Snell only lasted 3.2 innings, but did well to limit the damage to just two runs after walking six guys. The Mets really needed that seventh inning to get some big hits. The pressure of high-leverage spots as a batter really ramps up in the postseason and teams can really press if they keep failing to come through in those spots.
I think there could be a carryover of momentum as a result, but the old adage in baseball is also that “momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher”. Today’s starters are Chris Bassitt and Joe Musgrove, who are pretty similar pitchers. Musgrove has more swing and miss to his profile, but Bassitt is stronger in the home run prevention department. Bassitt finished the regular season with a 3.42 ERA and a 3.66 FIP, while Musgrove had a 2.93 ERA and a 3.59 FIP. Postseason experience is overblown, but Bassitt has made two starts, while Musgrove has made seven relief appearances.
Snell likely started Game 2 over Musgrove because of the Mets’ splits versus righties being better than their numbers against lefties. Musgrove allowed just one run on 15 hits over his last four starts covering 22 innings, but did have his worst month from a home run and walk standpoint in September/October. His first two starts of September were very bad, but then he adjusted. This is obviously a huge spot for him.
Bassitt also had a couple of late-season hiccups, including a bad final outing against the Braves with four runs allowed on three hits in just 2.2 innings. Even in his excellent eight-inning start against Oakland on September 23, he only struck out two of the 29 batters he faced. He also got skipped in between those two starts for a little bit of a breather.
On the whole, I like both of these starters, so I don’t have a pregame play. I ultimately think the Mets do move on, but not enough to lay -130 or higher as the market currently requires. I agree with this game trending up towards 7 with over juice on 6.5, but my approach remains the same as I’ve talked about with the Mets throughout. They have the better bullpen and the more consistent offense. If they get down or the game is tied heading to the later innings, look for a good price to live bet New York.
Series previews for the ALDS and NLDS come your way tomorrow!