Two of the more talented teams in baseball — especially from a pitching perspective — match up this weekend as the San Diego Padres visit the New York Mets to start their post-All-Star break schedules. The Padres will look to stabilize their play after a couple of up-and-down weeks while the Mets try to keep the Atlanta Braves behind them in the closely contested NL East. No Padres vs. Mets series preview would be complete without a breakdown of the starting pitcher matchups, though.
Unfortunately, Jacob deGrom — due to a setback with his right shoulder — will not be making his long-awaited season debut this weekend but Max Scherzer will go on Friday for the Mets against Yu Darvish, which should be a great battle. The Mets’ rotation for the rest of the series is still up in the air, yet Carlos Carrasco and Chris Bassitt (in some order) look like possibilities. After Darvish, San Diego will turn to Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. The MLB game odds likely will expect most of the games in this series to be low-scoring pitcher’s duels with all of the All-Stars on the mound for each side.
Padres-Mets Game 1 Information
- Game: San Diego Padres (52-42) at New York Mets (58-35)
- Location: Citi Field
Both Offenses Can Be Inconsistent
Of course, there are worse positions to be in at this point of the MLB season than where the Padres (in the second NL Wild Card spot) and the Mets (leading the NL East) currently are. But, both teams have been going through sustained offensive downturns and there isn’t much reason to think that things will get better this weekend.
San Diego is still without player Fernando Tatís Jr. and, as a result, has had to rely heavily on Manny Machado. He has had an incredible year but can’t do it all by himself and his Padres teammates haven’t been able to pick up the slack. A key component of this Padres vs. Mets series preview is San Diego’s disappointing offense, which is 21st in baseball in OPS (.689) and a very surprising 25th in home runs (77). The Padres have been able to stay afloat even without Tatís but they desperately need him back.
The Mets had been toward the top of MLB in most offensive categories for much of the beginning of the season. However, over the past month and a half or so, New York hasn’t been as dynamic. Still, the Mets are tied for fourth in runs scored because they don’t strike out much (fifth-fewest punchouts) and get on base a lot (fourth in OBP). They are prone to offensive brownouts, though, and could struggle against San Diego’s elite starters.
Tough To Beat Scherzer
After a roughly 45-day stint on the injured list, Max Scherzer has been right back to his usual dominant self. That’s bad news for the Padres, who are tasked with somehow trying to scratch a few runs off against the ageless wonder. Scherzer has made 11 starts for the Mets this season and has given up two runs or fewer in eight of them. Couple that with New York’s incredible record in the opening game of the series , 23-6, and the Padres will have their work cut out for them on Friday.
The Mets are also 21-5-3 in series in 2022, which is one of the best marks in baseball. They’re a tough team to take two of three from, particularly at Citi Field where New York is 28-15. That’s mostly because of the Mets’ strong rotation, which has yet to see the return of Jacob deGrom. So, it makes sense that they have the fourth-best odds to win the World Series.
With that said, the Padres did beat the Mets in these teams’ series in San Diego back in June. The Padres didn’t have to face Scherzer in that three-game set, though, which made things much easier.
Padres’ Bullpen Needs to Step Up
If the Mets are elite at anything on offense, it’s getting to an opponent’s bullpen quickly. They take a lot of pitches, force a lot of long at-bats, and have been significantly above-average against opposing starting pitchers. So, this Padres vs. Mets series preview needs to mention how critical San Diego’s bullpen likely will be. The Padres have great starters, yes, but the Mets have shown that they can limit good starters to six innings on multiple occasions — this is a major concern with Blake Snell.
So, if the Padres’ relievers can keep New York in check, then San Diego could be in a decent position to win a big series. If not, though, then a Mets team that has had plenty of crazy comebacks this season will be really difficult to hold down for three games.Follow us on Twitter