Padres Can Close First Half With A Win

Videos by OutKick

Mets vs. Padres, 4:10 ET

I wrote about two very disappointing teams in the first half of baseball this season – the Cardinals and White Sox – but another two teams that have been disappointing this first half battle each other in this game. With two of the highest payrolls in baseball, you’d expect those high salaries would return strong results. Not the case, unfortunately. However, the Mets and Padres get an opportunity to end the first half with a victory in today’s matchup.

Where do we even really begin with the Mets? Are they terrible? Not really. They are just five games under .500 at this point, but the real problem is that the Braves are essentially a lock for the division, and they still need to overcome the Marlins and Phillies within their own division in the battle for a Wild Card spot. The hitting as a team hasn’t been great, but the pitching is probably a bigger concern. The team ERA is 4.37 – that’s too high for a team with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Scherzer takes the ball today and he has been fairly inconsistent this season. The Mets starter has a 4.03 ERA right now, and if the season ended today, it would be the highest since 2011. Most of his struggles have come on the road where he has a 4.55 ERA. He even allowed four earned runs in his most recent road start against the Diamondbacks. That was his first non-quality start in four outings. Padres hitters are hitting just .163 against the Mets right-hander, and Manny Machado has one of the worst histories against him.

Could The Mets Really Trade Max Scherzer?
The Mets take on the Padres in the last game before the All-Star Break. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Padres have the same exact record as the Mets, and somehow, at least in my opinion, they are worse than the Mets. I expected this to be the year the Padres put it together. It isn’t. I wouldn’t even say their best players are struggling either. Fernando Tatis Jr. is playing well in his return from suspension. Juan Soto is doing his part. Machado and Xander Bogaerts are both hitting above .250. The explanation for why the Padres have so many losses is really hard to pinpoint. Even their rotation is doing fairly well and the team has a 3.80 ERA. Their starter, Joe Musgrove, who throws today, has been very good over his past eight games. Over those eight games, only one of them was not a quality start, and that was only because he went five innings in that game. The Padres are also 6-2 over his eight starts. Musgrove has been very strong against Mets hitters as well, holding them to 21 hits over 108 at-bats.

I’m taking the Padres in this game. I’ll do the first five innings again as the bullpen meltdowns are a realistic possibility. I think the Padres can win the full game, but I like to limit the exposure for chance as much as possible. It is never fun to go against Scherzer, but with Musgrove on the hill, it makes it much easier to deal with. Padres first five innings -120.

For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024

Written by David Troy

Leave a Reply