Giants vs. Mets Odds, Preview, Prediction: Struggling New York Offense Gives Value to Total (Thursday, August 26)
Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Wood
- The Giants and Mets face off Thursday in a matchup between two teams in need of a win.
- The Mets have been struggling mightily in August and need a win to stay alive in the NL East race while the Giants look to hold off the Dodgers for the NL West crown.
- Anthony Dabbundo details why he's targeting the total between these two clubs.
Giants vs. Mets Odds
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of 11:30 a.m. ET and via DraftKings.|
The Mets finished July at 55-48 and in first place in the NL East with a solid lead on the Phillies and Braves. They had just acquired infielder Javier Baez and were expecting to have Jacob deGrom back from injury in mid-August.
Since then, almost everything has gone wrong for New York. They lost seven of their first eight games in August and lost their division lead before entering a brutal stretch of their schedule that featured 13 straight games against the NL’s two best teams — the Dodgers and Giants.
That stretch of difficult games ends on Thursday at Citi Field as the Giants look to sweep the Mets. New York has gone 2-10 in the stretch, pushing its August record to 6-17 and leaving them seven games out of first in the division.
Despite the serious struggles Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco has faced since his return to the majors, the under in the first five innings has value because of the Mets’ issues against lefties and Carrasco’s underlying numbers not being nearly as bad as his surface level ones.
San Francisco Giants
San Francisco’s lineup has made up for occasionally lacking a hard contact rate and a high strikeout rate by producing a ton of power in its lineup. The Giants are first in MLB in ISO, a measure of raw power in the lineup.
Despite being outside the top 10 in hard hit rate and top 10 in strikeouts, when San Francisco makes contact, it leaves the yard a lot. This also means that the Giants are second in HR/FB rate in the entire league, a metric that tends to be noisy in the short term.
In short, too many of the Giants; fly balls are leaving the park, and it won’t continue forever. They’ve been a much better offense at home than on the road relative to the rest of the league as well. San Francisco sits 16th in wRC+ against righties away from home.
The run production against the Mets in this series has come almost entirely from home runs or Mets miscues in the field, so if Carrasco can keep the ball in the yard, he should keep the run count down early in the game.
The Giants counter Carrasco with lefty Alex Wood, who is having a renaissance year as a starter. Wood struggled in 2019 and 2020, but his strikeouts, walks and hard hit rate allowed all suggest that Wood has found some new form.
His strikeout rate is the highest it has been since 2016, while his 4.11 ERA, 3.92 xERA and 3.63 FIP suggest he might be slightly better than even his solid ERA suggests.
New York Mets
Carrasco has allowed five home runs in five starts, 16 runs in 16 innings and has failed to pitch more than five innings in any start.
His 8.82 ERA speaks for itself, but Carrasco has too much history of success and decent underlying numbers for me to assume he’s declining this rapidly. His velocity on his fastball is very similar to where it was in 2019 and 2020, and his strikeout and walk rate are similar to those past seasons when he was a solid but not spectacular starter.
He’s been both bad and unlucky this season. Homers will hurt your strand rate, but Carrasco is only stranding 55% of runners, nearly 30% lower than last season and almost 15% worse than his past averages. Carrasco will stabilize, and catching the Giants at home in bigger Citi Field looks like a good place to start.
The Mets rank 25th in wRC+ against lefties and haven’t been able to put the ball in play to drive in runs with batters on base. One major reason for this is their lack of power against southpaws, where NYM is 28th in ISO against lefties. Without power, they don’t have much to threaten Wood early in this game.
The Mets have been an under machine for most of their recent losing streak, mainly because of the lineup’s inability to produce consistent offense and string together hits. Wood is a bad matchup for them too.
Carrasco has been genuinely terrible since returning from the injured list, but he doesn’t have the profile of a pitcher who’s cooked just yet. He’ll stabilize, at least somewhat, in the next month.
Hold your breath, hope Carrasco keeps the ball in the park and play first five innings under 4.5 runs at -110 or better.
Pick: First five innings under 4.5 (-110)