New York Mets at San Diego Padres
Moneyline: NYM -115/SD +105
Series: NYM -115/MIL -115
First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Jacob deGrom (2-3, 3.82 ERA) vs. Chris Paddack (2-1, 1.91 ERA)
One of the most intriguing pitching matchups on the young campaign will be taking place Monday night in San Diego, with the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner meeting someone who could very well win the award in the near-future -- perhaps even as early as this year if his first six starts are any indication.
That would be San Diego's dazzling 23-year-old rookie Paddack, who first gained some steam with a very impressive showing during Spring Training. He's continued to generate a significant buzz since and it's not hard to see why.
Through the first month-and-change of the season, Paddack carries a terrific 1.91 ERA, allowing no more than three runs in any of his outings. He's also produced a superb 0.70 WHIP while holding opponents to a microscopic .126 batting average (!), both numbers ranking him first amongst all big-league starters.
Paddack, a former eighth-round draft pick, has caught the baseball world by storm in a way that his counterpart tonight did when first arriving in the majors five years ago. Remember, deGrom wasn't heralded much coming up, being a former ninth-round draft choice, but instantly caught everyone's attention out of the gate.
DeGrom has drawn extra attention lately for different reasons, however. Not only did he recently lose his record-tying streak of 26 consecutive quality starts, he also endured arguably the worst rough patch of his career. Prior to his seven-inning gem against the Reds last Wednesday, the Met ace had logged a shocking 9.69 ERA in his previous three outings.
So, is deGrom past his struggles now? That remains to be seen but this series-opening assignment at least presents an opportunity for the two-time All-Star to build upon his last effort.
In six career meetings with the Padres, deGrom has registered a splendid 1.66 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He'll also have the benefit this evening of working from one of the friendliest venues for pitchers in all of baseball, Petco Park, where he owns a career 1.54 ERA across 28.1 innings.
The Mets will also be looking to get back on track at the plate, having scored just 15 runs in their last seven ballgames. In the process, the under has connected in six straight.
How I Would Bet This Game
Well, I actually am betting this game, and considering it's hard to envision either starter having a tough time in this one, I'm on the under despite the low total. The Mets lineup doesn't figure to simply flip the switch on again opposite a guy like Paddack, while we can assume deGrom is back on the upswing based on his last turn in the rotation. Each side boasts a good bullpen, too.
Should You Bet The Series?
Both teams feature the same odds to prevail in this three-game set, but it's a tough call whom will emerge the victor. With New York's pitching staff shaping back into form, it might not be a bad idea to capitalize and take them for the series.