Diamondbacks vs Mets Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, September 14
Via Gregory Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Kodai Senga (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Mets on August 25, 2023, at Citi Field in Flushing, NY.
Diamondbacks vs. Mets Odds
The Diamondbacks have now lost three of four and will enter this matchup with the Mets on Thursday night looking to keep pace with the red-hot Reds and maintain their hold on a playoff spot.
Will Merrill Kelly be enough for Arizona to right the ship, or might this young offense fall victim to Kodai Senga?
Let's break down the best way to bet this one in our Diamondbacks vs. Mets preview and prediction.
Arizona hasn't exactly torn the cover off the ball lately, ranking 21st in wRC+ over the last week with some mediocre underlying numbers. Sure, the Snakes have only struck out in 21.6% of plate appearances during that time, but they've also produced a weak .145 Isolated Power coupled with a low 8.1% Walk Rate. On top of that, their .238 average looks weak next to their .285 BABIP.
While I'm generally a believer in Kelly, he hasn't exactly shoved this season in spite of his 3.16 ERA. He's still walked 9.1% of the batters he's faced, a career-worst, and though he's cushioned that with a career-best 26.4% Strikeout Rate, his Expected Batting Average stands at a mediocre .245 with a .384 xSLG.
Kelly hasn't been objectively bad, but it's hard to call his performance particularly strong to this point. He's given up more hard-hit balls than any season in his career and has poor expected stats despite a career-best 46.2% Ground-ball Rate. Kelly is putting a ton of runners on base and doing little to alleviate the many concerns surrounding him.
Senga is almost the complete opposite of Kelly. He owns a beefy 28.9% Strikeout Rate, which clearly gives him a leg up on his counterpart here, but aside from that he's also pitched to contact with his 45.5% Ground-ball Rate.
Senga's Expected Batting Average stands at a solid .223, and his xERA is just 3.78 as a result. He's done a great job of inducing soft contact for outs and punching out enough hitters, but his 11.2% Walk Rate has held him back from serious success in the majors to this point.
Still, it's hard not to trust Senga's fastball, cutter and forkball here against Arizona. Few hitters have had an answer for them, with opponents posting just a .096 xBA against the forkball.
As for this offense, it's gaining momentum. After Wednesday's win, the Mets now rank fifth in wRC+ over the last two weeks despite a 23.6% Strikeout Rate. That's because New York has hit 22 homers — second in baseball — and as a result owns a .243 ISO.
Diamondbacks vs. Mets
Betting Pick & Prediction
There isn't really much forkball data out there, but Arizona does rank 20th against the pitch this season along with a 24th against cutters. On top of that, the Diamondbacks have ranked just 18th in Walk Rate over the last two weeks, making this a great matchup for Senga, whose only Achilles heel is the walk issues.
With Senga in a great spot, the Mets are the play here. They've looked fantastic at the plate lately, and with their propensity for power, they should do damage against a pitcher in Kelly who has struggled to limit loud contact.
The Mets are deserving favorites here, and I'd play them to -130 on the moneyline.
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