MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Padres vs Mets Game 1 Betting Preview (Friday 10/7/22)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Scherzer
- The Mets are strong favorites over the Padres in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Round tonight.
- Max Scherzer takes the mound for New York against fellow ace Yu Darvish for San Diego.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
For Saturday’s Game 2 article, click here
Padres vs. Mets Game 1 Odds
|Time||8:07 p.m. ET|
Steve Cohen and the Mets went all in this season as they were looking to turn the franchise around in a hurry. Over the offseason, they signed Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha to boost the offense. They also traded for Chris Bassitt and signed 3-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to bolster the rotation.
The investments paid off as New York secured a playoff birth for the first time since 2016 and won 101 games, the most wins for the organization since its 1986 World Series Championship team.
Despite finishing with the third-best record in the National League, the Mets probably have a sour taste in their mouth after the Braves swept them late in the year to claim the NL East title. New York sat atop the division for 147 games, but ultimately lost out on the crown and the first-round bye.
San Diego has also been super aggressive with its moves over the past couple years. The Padres traded for Sean Manaea right before the season, Josh Hader in August and then there was the monster deal for Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the trade deadline.
Through the end of June, San Diego went 46-33. But since July 1, the Padres went just 43-40. It was an up-and-down season for sure, but the Padres earned the second wild card spot and a playoff birth for the second time in three years.
These two teams faced each other six times during the regular season with the Padres going 4-2 and winning both series. But New York will get home-field advantage with all three games in Queens and a World Series champion taking the ball in Game 1.
San Diego Padres: Can Darvish Beat Scherzer in New York?
In his second season in San Diego, Yu Darvish gave the Padres the star power they expected, going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA. Down the stretch he went 5-1 with a 1.85 ERA to help them lock up a playoff spot. Wins are largely a meaningless stat, but he did have the fifth most wins in the league this year.
Opponents posted just a .259 wOBA against Darvish this season, the second-best mark of his career. He relies on his cutter more than any other pitch, but it is his fastball and slider that have been his most dominant. In 30 starts this year, Darvish has gone at least six innings 28 times.
Despite all the big names on this roster, Slam Diego failed to live up to its nickname this season, finishing just league average in wOBA and wRC+. The Padres were just 21st in home runs. Their biggest strength was their plate discipline. The Padres finished fifth in walks and had the second lowest swinging strike rate in the league at just 10%.
They were without Fernando Tatis Jr. for the entire season, but added Juan Soto at the trade deadline. However, Soto hit just .236 with a .788 OPS and six home runs in 52 games with San Diego.
The offense will go as far as Manny Machado takes them. His 7.4 WAR led the NL and was second in baseball. He also finished third in the NL in both wOBA (.382) and wRC+ (152).
New York Mets: October is Scherzer’s Time to Shine
New York went out and signed Max Scherzer to a record-setting contract for this moment right here. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion will get the ball in Game 1.
Scherzer spent two stints on the Injured List during the season but when he was on the mound, he looked to be his normal, dominant self. The 38-year-old went 11-5 with a 2.29 ERA (the best of his career) in 23 starts this year.
He ranks in the top 10% of the league in K% and BB% and has the second-best K-BB% rate in the league at 26.4%, just 0.1% behind Shohei Ohtani.
While the offense across town gets all the headlines, the Mets’ lineup has been lethal and versatile this season. They ranked fifth in wOBA and had the third-best wRC+ at 116. The Mets went ice cold against Atlanta, but are still among the league’s most dangerous lineups.
This balanced lineup has a great blend of contact and power. Jeff McNeil led the league with a .326 batting average and Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha get on base a ton. That pairs well with Pete Alonso’s 40 home runs and league-leading 131 RBI.
In this Game 1 matchup, the Mets have the advantage in starting pitching, bullpen and at the plate. Plus, New York will have home-field advantage, where it was 54-27 this year.
While Darvish has been fantastic, Scherzer is one of this generation’s elite pitchers and this game being in Queens tilts the edge even more in his favor. Scherzer has pitched to a near spotless 1.67 ERA at home this year, while Darvish has posted a 3.50 ERA on the road.
Everybody knows about Edwin Diaz and the trumpets, but the entire Mets bullpen has been in rhythm this year. They have the second best reliever xFIP in the league, while the Padres are ranked 13th.
At the plate, New York has a top-five offense and with a pair of right-handed pitchers on the mound, the splits play even more into the Mets’ hands.
The Mets are second in the league with a 119 wRC+ against righties this year. The Padres are better against left-handers and sit just 14th against righties. Machado is the key to this Padres’ offense and he is batting just .160 (8-for-50) with 20 strikeouts in against Scherzer in his career.
This is the reason the Mets went out and gave Scherzer the bag. He has won a championship, made 26 postseason appearances, has a 3.22 ERA in the postseason and has racked up 160 strikeouts while allowing just 91 hits in 128 2/3 innings.
Over Scherzer’s past 10 playoff appearances, his team is 8-2 and he has won three straight Game 1 starts. Darvish has made just one postseason start since 2017 and has a 5.18 ERA in seven playoff appearances. He has totaled 31 strikeouts while allowing 32 hits in 33 innings.
It might be chalky as the Mets are the biggest favorite on the board, but I will play the Mets at -145 and would play them at -150 or better.
Pick: New York Mets -145