The Mets and Diamondbacks have both defied expectations halfway through the season, albeit in quite different ways. The D-Backs have shocked the world by leading the NL West, while the Mets have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments. Let’s take a look at the odds for their series-concluding clash, where my prediction is a Diamondbacks win and o10 runs are scored.
Mets Vs. Diamondbacks Prediction
It was certainly a dramatic one in game 2, as the Mets were down to their last strike but pulled together a very late comeback to secure the game and series victory. It was a much-needed one for the Amazin’s, who have fallen on extremely tough times early on this year but have now won four in a row after scraping out a series win against the Giants and taking the first two games in this set.
The D-Backs have been a lovable and extremely pleasant surprise, led by up-and-comers like Rookie of the Year candidate and newly-minted All Star Corbin Carroll and Michigan Wolverines legend Tommy Henry, a starting pitcher who has taken a major leap in year 2. Henry is actually one of a few Arizona pitchers who have put together a great first half- Merrill Kelley and staff ace Zac Gallen come to mind- but Thursday’s starter is not one of them.
That would be Ryne Nelson, who has tossed an ERA of 4.67 including a figure of 7.09 in home appearances. He hasn’t been great, but Carlos Carrasco has been even worse for the Mets. A former breakout star with Cleveland, Carrasco has struggled mightily this season; his ERA is up around 6, his FIP is even higher, he’s allowing a WHIP of well over 1.5, and he’s surrendering two long ball per 9 innings of work.
The total is a really tough call. You hardly ever see a number in the double-digits which makes it hard to commit to the over, especially between two teams that fought to a 2-1 result yesterday. That being said, if you look at the numbers, the over is the only call. The sum of the two starters ERA is comfortably over 10, and neither bullpen is particularly good- the Mets sit 21st in the league in bullpen ERA while Arizona is 19th.
I feel better about my pick on the moneyline, which is for the Diamondbacks. They’ve been better than the Mets all year so far, they have a slight pitching advantage, and it’s tough to imagine them absorbing a home sweep at this point. I love Arizona to bounce back and avoid that fate, and the odds certainly agree.
Mets Vs. Diamondbacks Prediction: Diamondbacks ML (-135), o10 runs (-110)
Mets Vs. Diamondbacks Odds
The Diamondbacks are -135 home favorites, compared to +115 for the Mets. The total is fairly high at 10, with the over and the under both set at -110.
Mets Vs. Diamondbacks Key Matchups
List out a couple of key matchups to watch out for this game. 1-2 is fine.
Carlos Carrasco Vs. Righty Bats
Carrasco is having a down year by almost every single Statcast metric, with notable exceptions being extension, curveball spin, and chase rate, all of which are somewhat related. He hasn’t had great control, and hitters are barrelling him up pretty consistently, especially righty bats, confusingly enough. They’re putting up an MVP-level .968 OPS against the right-handed Carrasco.
Despite Carrasco’s strange platoon split, leadoff man Geraldo Perdomo, a switch-hitter, will probably hit lefty, as he’s had more success from that side this season. Carroll is a lefty, which may be a good break for Carrasco, but he does have an OPS of almost 1.000 against right-handed pitchers.
Righty Christian Walker is tied with Carroll for the team lead with 18 homers, and is third on the squad in OPS. Veteran third baseman Evan Longoriais is also having a nice year with an OPS of .852. One more righty who could do some serious damage is Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who is doing some damage in his first year away from Toronto with an OPS+ of 117, his best since the shortened 2020 season. Lastly, there’s switch-hitting star Ketel Marte, who has been in and out of the lineup wth an injury, and has an almost perfectly even platoon split.
The ability of these bats and more in the Arizona lineup to get to Carrasco is a major reason I have both o10 runs and the Diamondbacks -135 moneyline in my Mets vs. Diamondbacks prediction.
Ryne Nelson Vs. Middle of the Lineup
Like Carrasco, Statcast is not too impressed with Nelson’s performance this season, as he is only above the median in walk% and extension. Those are key metrics to be sure, but he’s below water in a lot of other big ones, and his standard numbers aren’t much better with an ERA of 4.67 and only 6.4 strikeouts per 9 innings.
Nelson has a very interesting split, he struggles a lot against hitters 3-6 in the lineup, but dominates everyone before or after. He also has a tough time in the second inning, so it’s that first pass through the heart of the lineup that really gets to him.
With the Mets, by far the most intimidating hitter in that stretch of the lineup is Pete Alonso, who has 25 home runs already, but is only hitting .214 with a .307 OBP. Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil are also solid bats, but they’re struggling a bit with batting averages in the .250s and OPS numbers in the .650s. In the 3-spot, there’s Francisco Lindor, who has been fine but nowhere near the all-league levels he flashed in Cleveland, but has not at all as a Met.
These bats could put a couple of runs on Nelson and help out the over, but I believe that he can limit the damage enough to put his team in a spot where they can win the ballgame.
Mets Vs. Diamondbacks Starting Lineups
Mets Starting Lineup
CF B. Nimmo L
LF T. Pham R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
RF S. Marte R
2B J. McNeil L
C F. Alvarez R
3B B. Baty L
DH M. Canha R
Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
2B G. Perdomo S
3B E. Longoria R
LF C. Carroll L
1B C. Walker R
DH L. Gurriel R
RF J. McCarthy L
C C. Kelly R
SS N. Ahmed R
CF A. Thomas L