Game: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Starting Pitchers: Johnny Cueto vs. Taijuan Walker
Odds: Giants +105, Mets -108
Just a week ago, the Mets traveled to San Francisco where they lost two of three games. Losing has been something the Mets are getting used to recently. New York has won just two of its last 11 games. At one point, they were in control of the NL East. Now, they are below .500, two games behind Philadelphia, and 6.5 games behind division leader Atlanta.
The Mets will try to change their losing ways behind starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. If you remember, Walker earned a spot on the NL All-Star team (replacing an injured Jacob deGrom) after starting the season 7-3. Since the All-Star break, Walker has been terrible. He has started six games – all Mets losses – and is 0-5. For the season, Walker is now 7-8 with an ERA of 3.86.
Walker’s last three starts are a microcosm of what he has done since the break. He pitched 18.2 innings and allowed a total of eight earned runs. That’s not horrible, but he gave up four in a loss to the Dodgers and three in a loss to Philadelphia. The Mets lost all three games, of course, but even more telling is the run support that Walker received…or actually didn’t receive. In those three games, the Mets scored a total of two runs.
Scoring has been an issue for New York. They are 29th in MLB in runs per game (3.75). Only Pittsburgh (3.57) is worse. In their last five games, the Mets have managed to score more than three runs just once. That was in a 7-2 win over Los Angeles. New York doesn’t hit very well, a team batting average of .234 and an OPS of .689 (26th in MLB) attest to that.
The Giants, of course, are the best team in baseball. It’s almost hard to believe, but at this point in the season, it is clear that San Francisco is a World Series contender. The Giants are a top 10 team in almost every offensive statistical category. They lead the majors in home runs (191) and their pitching staff has the second-best overall ERA (3.27).
Tonight, it’s Johnny Cueto that gets the start. At 7-6 with a 3.98 ERA, Cueto has been inconsistent this season. He pitched a strong 5.2 innings in a win over the Dodgers. He didn’t allow an earned run and struck out five. Then, he pitches five innings and loses to the last-place team in the NL West, Arizona.
One thing for bettors to watch is the total. The total can still be found at 8.5 for tonight’s game. The low-scoring Mets and two capable pitchers might tilt this matchup in favor of the Under. The Under is 35-20-4 in Mets games played at home. Over the last ten games for each team, the Under has been the trend. San Francisco has seen the Under hit in five of its last six games while the Under has cashed in six of the last seven Mets games.