The Mets and Twins are playing afternoon baseball on Saturday, September 9 at Minnesota’s Target Field. Lefty David Peterson gets the start for New York against the Twins’ Kenta Maeda.
The Twins are heavy betting favorites in this game at -142 on the moneyline, while the over/under is set at 8.5 runs. The prediction here is that the Twins win and the under hits.
Mets vs. Twins Prediction
Note: all metrics taken before Friday’s games
Starting pitchers: LHP David Peterson (3-7, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 4.73 ERA)
With the postseason just a few weeks away, the Twins would love to see Kenta Maeda bust out of his recent struggles and give them some confidence in starting him in the playoffs. As it stands, he might be on the outside looking in at the Twins’ playoff rotation, but a strong outing today against the Mets would be a big step towards changing that.
Maeda was pitching very well after returning on June 23 from a nearly two-month stint on the injured list. In his first 9 starts after returning, Maeda allowed more than two runs only once and put together a 2.36 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP over 49-2/3 innings.
In his last 4 starts, however, things have started unraveling. He’s allowed at least 3 runs in each of those starts and has not gone more than 5 innings in any of them (18 innings total). Over those 4 starts Maeda has a 7.50 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP, and the Twins are 1-3 in those games.
The Mets are not the most dangerous opponent for Maeda, but they are strong in one area where Maeda has struggled – the long ball. Maeda has allowed at least 1 home run in 9 consecutive starts and is allowing 1.5 home runs per 9 innings this season. The Mets have hit the 11th most home runs this season and the 6th-most over the last month.
The good news for the Twins is that they should be able to overcome a few runs allowed by Maeda as they have been red-hot from the plate, especially sensational rookie Royce Lewis. You may have heard that Lewis recently hit 3 grand slams over an 8-game stretch. He hasn’t hit one in the last two games, so that can only mean he’s due for another one in this game.
Since Lewis returned from the IL on August 15, the Twins are top 5 in runs scored, OPS and wRC+. They will match up today with David Peterson, who lost his spot in the Mets’ rotation earlier this year only to regain it after the MLB trade deadline when the Mets shipped out Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
The way the Twins have been hitting lately – and it’s more than just Royce Lewis – we like their chances against Peterson and expect them to win the game. The -142 moneyline odds don’t offer much value, so instead we recommend playing the -1.5 run spread at +140 odds.
The best bet in this game is the over on 8.5 runs. Not only are both offenses outperforming the respective pitchers, but both pitchers’ home/road and day/night splits also portend a high-scoring game. Both Maeda and Peterson have much better numbers in night games compared to day games, and Maeda has been much better on the road this season while Peterson has been better at home.
Mets vs. Twins Prediction: Twins -1.5 (+140), over 8.5 runs (-118)
Mets vs. Twins Odds
The Twins are heavy favorites in this game with -155 moneyline odds, while the Mets are at +130 on the moneyline.
The Twins are laying -1.5 runs on the spread at +150 odds, while the Mets are getting +1.5 runs at -180 odds.
The over/under in this game is set at 8.5 runs with -118 odds on the over and -102 odds on the under.
Mets vs. Twins Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Mets vs. Twins.
Kenta Maeda vs. Pete Alonso
The main reason we picked the Twins -1.5 in in our Mets vs. Twins prediction was the Twins’ surging offense, but they also need to geta good enough performance from their pitching for that pick to cash in.
As noted above, one of starter Kenta Maeda’s bugaboos this season has been giving up the long ball, and few hitters in baseball are a more dangerous threat to go deep than Pete Alonso.
Alonso is having his best power season since his rookie year, when he hit 53 home runs. He went deep once in roughly every 13 plate appearances that season, and with 42 home runs already this season (3rd in MLB), he’s homering at roughly the same clip.
Alonso is far from the only home run threat in the Mets’ lineup, but he is the biggest one. If Maeda can keep him in the yard, that will go a long way towards the Twins covering the spread.
Neither of the bullpens in this matchup is particularly strong, which is good news for any bettors tailing our pick of over 8.5 runs.
Both the Twins (4.05, 16th) and the Mets (4.48, 21st) are in the bottom half of the league in bullpen ERA, and their advanced metrics are not much better. They have both been even worse relative to the rest of the league over the last month, when the Twins are 19th at 4.75 and the Mets are 25th at 5.53.
This means it could be anyone’s game once the starters are pulled, but it also means there could be some late offense to help push the total runs over 8.5.
Mets vs. Twins Starting Lineups (Projected)
Mets Starting Lineup
CF Brandon Nimmo (L)
SS Francisco Lindor (S)
RF Jeff McNeil (L)
1B Pete Alonso (R)
DH Daniel Vogelbach (L)
C Francisco Alvarez (R)
3B Brett Baty (L)
2B Jonathan Arauz (S)
LF Rafael Ortega (L)
Twins Starting Lineup
1B Donovan Solano (R)
DH Jorge Polanco (S)
3B Royce Lewis (R)
SS Carlos Correa (R)
RF Jordan Luplow (R)
2B Kyle Farmer (R)
LF Matt Wallner (L)
C Ryan Jeffers (R)
CF Joey Gallo (L)