A pair of National League East teams that are likely playing for next year continue their weekend series when the New York Mets take on the host Miami Marlins on Saturday. The Marlins won the opener of the series on Friday night, using three home runs to power to an 8-4 victory.
Both teams are well behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East, with the Mets currently sitting in fourth place, 14.5 games back, and the Marlins bringing up the rear, 19.5 games off the pace. Even a Wild Card spot is far off in the distance, with New York and Miami sitting seven and 12 games, respectively, out of the second spot.
The moneyline for this contest has the New York Mets -140 and the Miami Marlins +130. The over/under for this game has been set at 7.5.
Pitching Amid Rumors
The Mets will give the ball to Noah Syndergaard for the start in this one, as the right-hander is hearing his name in trade rumors. The 26-year-old Syndergaard hasn’t been up to his usual high standards this season, though he does come into this contest with a 6-4 record and on a personal three-game winning streak. Syndergaard has a 4.68 ERA and has struck out 101 in 105 2/3 innings of work this season.
The New York offense has been inconsistent this season, though rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has certainly provided great hope for the future. Alonso leads the Mets with 30 home runs and 68 RBI and is coming off a Home Run Derby title over the All-Star break. Leftfielder Jeff McNeil has also been very good, leading the National League with a .348 batting average to go with seven home runs, 36 RBI and 42 runs scored.
Learning On The Job
The Marlins will have rookie Zac Gallen on the mound for his fourth start in the Major Leagues. Gallen has an 0-1 record with a 4.50 ERA, though he’s only pitched 12 innings so far. His last outing, against Washington on July 2, was only two innings due to a rain delay of over an hour. He allowed three hits and two runs in that stint, including allowing his first home run. The 23-year-old has shown a penchant for the strikeout, though, recording 16 already.
Offense has been a sore subject for the Marlins this season, as they enter this game with a National League-low 320 runs, with the next-worst offensive team, Cincinnati, having scored 50 more runs than Miami. Third baseman Brian Anderson had a home run in the series-opening win, and he currently leads the Marlins with 12 home runs on the season. He is one of just two Miami players with double-digit home runs this season (Jorge Alfaro has 10).
Mets Bounce Back
It has not been easy to pick the Mets this season, but if there was ever a time, this would be it. They have Syndergaard on the mound against a rookie for the Marlins, and he’s facing the most inept offense in the National League. It’s hard to believe Miami will put together two big offensive nights in a row. I’m taking New York -140 to win this game and even the series up.