Wild day of baseball yesterday.
We took the Blue Jays through the first five innings and it was a no-sweat pick. Of course, I kept watching to see the Blue Jays push this to game three. NOPE. The Mariners pulled off one of the great comebacks in postseason history and won the game 10-9. We won our bet, and Mariners fans still ended up with a win.
We did lose our first game of the postseason. The Cardinals disappeared last night. I wasn’t fading the Phillies yesterday, I just thought the Cardinals would do enough to force a game three. They did not, especially Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who went a combined 1-15 in the series and 0-8 with five strikeouts in game two.
We only have one baseball game to look at today. It all comes down to this.
2022 MLB Regular Season Record: 223-180 (55%), +43.89 Units
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets: 7:07 pm EST
Joe Musgrove (RHP, Padres) [10-7, 2.93 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 184 K]
Chris Bassitt (RHP, Mets) [15-9, 3.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 167 K]
Game 3. Win or go home. It all comes down to this on ESPN at Citi Field.
As the podcast listeners know, I bet on the Padres’ and Guardians’ series price before the playoffs began. We won on the Guardians, and now we are waiting on the Padres at +150. This is better value than betting the Padres on the money line. If you tailed on the series price, I would stay away from a money line tonight unless you plan to hedge out of your position.
I do have a pick on the total tonight.
Joe Musgrove will get the ball for San Diego who enjoyed a great season for the Padres overall but hasn’t looked as dominant as he did during the first half. Musgrove posted three straight dominant months which placed him in early NL CY Young conversations. Before the All-Star break, he put up a 2.42 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 104 innings. He signed a five-year extension on August 1 and things began to go south.
After the All-Star break, he posted a 3.62 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Those numbers are still solid, but we did see regression that his peripherals indicated. Over the full season, Musgrove posted a 2.93 ERA with a 3.27 xERA, a 3.59 FIP, and a 3.47 xFIP.
He threw once against the Mets this season, allowing four earned runs in 5.1 innings that resulted in an 8-5 loss for the Padres on July 24. Pete Alonso hit a big home run for the Mets in that game. Through 99 PA against the Mets’ current roster, he’s rocking a .340 xWOBA, .269 xBA, and a .428 xSLG. The Mets finished with the third-highest OPS against right-handed pitching this year.
Something to watch out for; Musgrove struggled through the third time in the order. He has cruised in the early goings, but in the fifth inning, he has a 5.14 ERA. In the sixth inning, that number rises to a 7.15 ERA. I expect him to pitch well early, but things could unravel quickly based on his past history.
Chris Bassitt will take the ball for the Mets who also had a tale of two halves. He struggled before the All-Star break, putting up a 3.79 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 104 innings. He turned it around in the second half, putting up a 2.94 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 74 innings.
He did end the season on a sour note against the Braves, allowing four earned runs in less than three innings. Overall, Bassitt posted a 3.42 ERA, a 3.46 xERA, a 3.66 FIP, and a 3.72 xFIP.
Back on June 8th, he faced the Padres in San Diego and put up one of his worst starts of the season. He allowed seven earned runs in 3.1 innings and the Mets took a 13-2 loss. He rebounded at home on July 23, tossing seven innings of two-run ball while striking out 11 batters.
It’s difficult to predict what Bassitt will do today. Will he rise to the occasion and dominate, or could he deal with command issues like in his last start? I’m willing to bet he doesn’t have a miraculous performance.
What we do know is both bullpens are suspect at the moment. The Mets decided to throw Edwin Diaz for 28 pitches and Adam Ottavino for 35 pitches yesterday. Those are easily the two best arms they have and they won’t be 100% for this matchup.
The Padres had to deploy the bulk of their bullpen after Blake Snell only gave them 3.1 innings last night. The Mets put up the 10th-best ERA as a bullpen and the Padres sat at 14th this season.
Weather is also a factor here. I was at the game last night, and while it’s been cold, the ball is still flying. We’ve seen both games with better starting pitching matchups and rested bullpens go over this total, and I expect the same tonight. We also have 5-8 MPH wind blowing out to center field.
I feel I have a slight edge towards the over. It’s not a bet I’m extremely confident in because I do think both starters will perform reasonably well. I have this game ending 4-3 in favor of the Mets, so it’s a slight edge at 6.5.
If this goes up to 7, I would just stay away because I think it has a very solid chance of landing on that number. It will be later in the ball game, as I don’t have faith in either bullpen or Musgrove in the later innings. It should be low scoring early and exciting late.