The Mets extended their season on Saturday night, getting to the Padres’ pitching staff and rallying for the win. Now, in baseball’s standalone Game 3 on Sunday, Joe Musgrove and the Padres will look to bounce back and clinch an NLDS date with the Dodgers.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Sunday’s game at Citi Field.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets Betting Odds
The Mets are favored again, but not as decisively as they were in Game 2. New York sits at -136 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 6.5 runs.
An offensive eruption late in Game 2 helped restore some confidence in the Mets. It makes sense that New York is favored at home, but this line is much closer without an ace on the mound for Buck Showalter’s team. Are the Padres a better value?
San Diego Padres Starting Lineup
LF J. Profar S
RF J. Soto L
3B M. Machado R
DH J. Bell S
2B J. Cronenworth L
1B B. Drury R
SS H. Kim R
C A. Nola R
CF J. Azocar R
San Diego Padres vs. Chris Bassitt
Jacob deGrom wasn’t untouchable in Game 2, but the Padres will be happy to move onto Chris Bassitt in Game 3. Bassitt had a solid first season in New York, posting a 3.42 ERA over 30 starts (181.2 IP) with a 3.66 FIP and 1.15 WHIP.
The former A’s starter was prone to a few blowups, allowing 5+ runs in four different starts, but he was able to give the Mets’ rotation length and stability through injuries to deGrom and Max Scherzer. Which Bassitt will we get in a must-win scenario?
Bassitt had one of his worst starts of the season against the Padres in June, when he allowed 7 earned runs in 3.1 IP. He didn’t allow a home run in that game – San Diego beat him by chipping away. Considering the Padres don’t have a very power-oriented lineup (five home runs in the last two games notwithstanding), that’s what it might take again.
The Padres need much better production from their key hitters if they want to win this series. Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth have a combined one hit through two games in this series. Juan Soto started to produce in Game 2, managing two hits, but the chance the Padres have a power surge like they did in Game 1 is slim. If they want to beat Bassitt, they’ll have to do it like they did in June.
A positive for San Diego: While Edwin Diaz will likely be available for the Mets after throwing 28 pitches in Game 2, he isn’t in line for an extended outing.
New York Mets Starting Lineup
CF B. Nimmo L
SS F. Lindor S
2B J. McNeil L
1B P. Alonso R
3B E. Escobar S
DH D. Vogelbach L
LF M. Canha R
RF T. Naquin L
C T. Nido R
New York Mets vs. Joe Musgrove
Joe Musgrove had another great season as an anchor of the Padres’ rotation, posting a 2.93 ERA over 30 starts (181 IP). He had a 3.59 FIP and 1.08 WHIP, striking out 184 batters. Musgrove’s K/9 rate dropped a bit from 2021, but his walk rate improved while most key numbers remained steady. Like Bassitt did against the Padres, Musgrove struggled in his only start against the Mets this season, allowing 4 earned runs over 5.1 IP.
The Mets’ offense bounced back in Game 2, taking advantage of an erratic Blake Snell and forcing him out of the game before blowing up San Diego’s bullpen. Musgrove probably won’t help the Mets as much as Snell did. New York missed a few chances against Snell before taking advantage of the middle of the Padres’ bullpen. The Mets can’t afford to miss chances against Musgrove, who should be able to give San Diego some length.
The Mets have some great contact hitters in Jeff McNeil, Starling Marte, and even Brandon Nimmo. Between the three of them, the Mets will have baserunners. It all comes down to whether they get the big hit from Pete Alonso, Eduardo Escobar, or another power hitter just as they did in Game 2.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets Picks & Prediction
My pick: Padres +116, Over 6.5 Runs
The Mets performed well under pressure in Game 2. That’s step one. Step two is winning without an ace on the mound. I’m concerned by Bassitt’s volatility this season, including in his high-pressure start in Atlanta last week, and a limited Edwin Diaz only puts more pressure on Bassitt.
If Joe Musgrove gives the Padres more length than Snell and allows only the heart of the bullpen to be used, it should be a tougher day for the Mets’ offense – though I expect enough runs from both sides for the over to hit again. The Padres look like a solid road value in Game 3.