The San Diego Padres and New York Mets can each punch their ticket to the NLDS in the do-or-die Game 3 of the NL Wild Card round at Citi Field on Sunday.
The Mets staved off elimination with a 7-3 win over the Padres on Saturday. Pete Alonso homered, and ace starter Jacob deGrom allowed just five hits and two runs while striking out eight in six innings. New York will send Chris Bassitt to the hill for Game 3.
The Padres, who won 7-1 in Game 1, have not reached the NLDS since 2006. San Diego will counter with Joe Musgrove in the win-or-go-home game.
Here’s a look at what to expect in Game 3.
Padres vs Mets Game 3 Odds
The Mets were heavy favorites in each of the first two games but are a slight favorite for Game 3 based on the fact they’re at home.
Padres vs Mets Game 3 Prediction
Padres 4, Mets 3
The fact this series requires a win-or-go-home game adds to the pressure the already-anxious Mets fan base is undoubtedly feeling.
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Despite a resurgent offensive performance in Game 2, I think the fact New York was forced to use its three most valuable bullpen arms, Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo on Saturday gives San Diego a distinct advantage.
The Mets have been the better team all season, but the better team doesn’t always win in a one-game performance. Plus, Musgrove may not get the recognition of San Diego frontline starters Yu Darvish or Blake Snell, but he led all Padres starters in ERA (2.93) and has allowed just 15 hits and two earned runs while striking out 27 in his past 22 innings.
Bassitt, who shared the team-lead in wins (15), was also roughed up in a pair of starts against the Padres. He went 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings vs San Diego in the regular season.
Plus, Bassitt has been not great lately. He was 2-2 with a 4.87 ERA over his past four starts.
Padres vs Mets Game 3 Best Bet
Padres Moneyline (+120) at FanDuel Sportsbook
The Padres have been licking their chops at getting a playoff rematch with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. I think they find a way to make that happen.
Padres vs Mets Game 3 Props
Trent Grisham Record a Hit (+105) at FanDuel
Grisham has been on fire to start the postseason, with homers in each of the first two games in the series. If you’re feeling daring and trust him to blast another out of the ballpark, take him at +800 to do so. But I think he’ll record a hit.
Joe Musgrove Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-130)
Musgrove has surpassed five Ks in four of his past five starts and has 32 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings in that span. The Mets have struck out 14 times in the previous two games. Trust Musgrove hit the number.
Jeff McNeil to Record 2-Plus Total Bases (+140)
The NL batting champ had two total bases in Game 2 and has a hit in each of the first two games in the series. The Padres may win but probably won’t be able to hold McNeil from two singles or a double on Sunday.
Previously: Game 2 pick
Padres vs Mets Game 2 Odds
The Padres are again a heavy underdog for Game 2 as they were for the opener. With deGrom, arguably the best pitcher on the planet, the Mets have to like their chances of forcing a Game 3 on Sunday.
Padres vs Mets Game 2 Prediction
Padres 5, Mets 2
So much is being made of deGrom taking the mound in the win-or-go-home game for the Mets, but Snell has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball in the season’s second half.
Snell allowed just 19 earned runs over 78 innings (2.19 ERA) in his final 14 starts, starting with a dominant five-inning, four-hit, no-run outing against the Mets at Citi Field in San Diego’s 2-1 win July 23. Snell is playoff tested too with a 2.83 ERA in 35 postseason innings.
Plus, deGrom has not quite been as dominant of late. The two-time Cy Young winner has surrendered 14 earned runs, with six home runs, in his past 21 innings (6.00 ERA).
San Diego’s feeling itself offensively after Manny Machado, Jurickson Profar, Trent Grisham and Josh Bell each homered in Game 1.
Padres vs Mets Game 2 Best Bet
Padres Moneyline (+150) at Caesars Sportsbook
The odds alone dictate this is the bet. I wouldn’t be stunned to see deGrom deal, and the Mets force a Game 3.
But given Snell’s recent dominance, San Diego’s offensive surge, plus the Mets’ recent malaise — they’re just 6-7 in their past 13 games — bet the Padres the end the Mets’ season Saturday.
Over 5.5 Runs (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook
Pitching duels don’t always meet the hype, which Friday proved. Given deGrom’s recent trouble with home runs, we’ll take there to be at least six runs again in Game 2.
Padres vs Mets Game 2 Props
Jacob deGrom Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+117)
We all know deGrom is a strikeout pitcher. He has 102 in 64 1/3 innings this season — and 39 in his past four outings.
But the Padres had the ninth-fewest strikeouts in baseball during the regular season, averaging about eight per game. Scherzer, another dominant, strikeout pitcher, only had 4 Ks in 4 2/3 innings Friday.
Plus, Mets manager Buck Showalter will need to have a quick hook on deGrom if the Mets starter struggles, since there’s no tomorrow if New York loses. That’s one more reason to target the Under.
Manny Machado Home Run (+750)
Machado has been the Padres’ MVP all year, and arguably the NL MVP over six months, and he is 6 for 20 against deGrom in his career — albeit without any extra-base hits.
I think that ends Saturday since Machado homered in Game 1 and had 20 of his 32 homers this season against right-handed pitching.
As stated above, deGrom has been susceptible to the home run ball of late, and four of the six homers have come against lefties, which makes Bell (+950) and Juan Soto (+625) attractive candidates. Soto especially is enticing since he has homered off the Mets ace in his career.
But Machado’s the candidate we’d target to take him deep.
Padres vs Mets Game 1 Odds
The Mets are the biggest Game 1 favorites in the Wild Card round due to their starting pitching advantage.
However, the Padres are not a bad value at +168 with Yu Darvish on the mound.
Padres vs Mets Game 1 Prediction
Mets 3, Padres 2
We have a pitcher’s duel on tap for Game 1 between between Darvish and Max Scherzer, which should result in a low-scoring game.
However, the Mets have the advantage of playing at home while boasting a superior offense led by Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and NL batting champion Jeff McNeil.
That said, Scherzer is prone to conceding home runs on occasion, so it would not be a surprise to see Manny Machado and company pop one into the seats.
Overall, I expect a close game, with New York coming out on top.
Padres vs Mets Game 1 Best Bet
Mets Moneyline (-156) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
There are few teams that can rival the top end of the Mets rotation, and that gives them a significant edge in a short series.
Darvish will make things very difficult for the New York offense, but in the end, the smart money is on Buck Showalter‘s club to pull out a victory in Game 1.
Padres vs Mets Game 1 Props
Max Scherzer Over 5,5 Strikeouts (-136) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Scherzer is the type of pitcher who can go Over this number in only three innings. He’s put up a 30.6% strikeout rate along with a 14.8% swinging-strike rate this season.
The future Hall-of-Famer has among the highest strikeout upside in baseball, so we’ll ride with the Over in this spot.