The only Wild Card series to reach Game 3 takes center stage on Sunday night as the New York Mets host the San Diego Padres. The Padres took Game 1 7-1, only for the Mets to respond with a 7-3 win in Game.
On Sunday, the Mets are slight favorites with a -135 moneyline at home, while San Diego’s moneyline is set at +110 with an over/under of 6.5 runs.
Chris Bassitt will get the ball for the Mets in Game 3. In his 30 starts this year, the 33-year-old was 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Bassitt is a 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two previous postseason starts with Oakland in 2020 and has helped guide the Mets to wins in 10 of the last 12 games he’s started.
The bad news is that two of the losses Bassitt has taken this year came against the Padres. In June, he got knocked around for seven runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings during a visit to San Diego.
However, things we better when Bassitt faced the Padres at Citi Field in July, giving up just two runs on four hits over seven innings, striking out 11 but getting the loss in a 2-1 San Diego win.
Bassitt will have to be particularly wary of the home run, as the Padres have hit five home runs over the first two games of this series. Josh Bell has one of those homers and is 2 for 5 with two homers in his career against Bassitt.
Meanwhile, the trio of Jake Cronenworth, Jurickson Profar, and Juan Soto is a combined 6 for 14 (.429) against Bassitt, so he’ll have to be careful with the top half of the San Diego lineup.
The Padres will counter Bassitt with 29-year-old Joe Musgrove. In his 30 starts this season, Musgrove was 10-7 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
He’s coming off back-to-back starts in which he didn’t allow a run, covering 11 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts. In fact, Musgrove has allowed just one run and 15 hits over his last four starts, covering 22 innings.
This will be the second time this year Musgrove has faced the Mets. They got the better of him in July in Musgrove’s first start after the all-star break. He lasted 5.1 innings at Citi Field, giving up four runs on five hits in an 8-5 New York win.
Several key New York hitters have had plenty of success against Musgrove in the past. The trio of Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, and Pete Alonso is a combined 12 for 34 (.353) with three home runs against Musgrove.
Plus, outside of Game 1 of this series, when the Mets predictably struggled against Yu Darvish, the Mets have scored seven runs in three straight games.
Through two games, the heart of New York’s lineup has outperformed San Diego’s biggest stars. While the Padres have gotten good productivity from the bottom of their lineup, they’ve scored runs almost exclusively via home runs.
The Mets, meanwhile, have found other ways to score runs, which will help them scratch out a win at home in Game 3.
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