I am releasing a pair of MLB Series Picks for the weekend kicking off on Thursday night, and, of course, both will be four-game sets running Thursday through Sunday.
My first pick featured the Nationals and Braves in a couple of teams fighting for NL East supremacy, but for this pick I will feature the Mets and Giants, a couple of NL teams clinging to life in the NL Wild Card picture.
Let’s have a look at the odds for this four-game set, courtesy of MyBookie.
Mets vs. Giants MLB Series Odds
Now let’s have a peek at the probable starting pitching matchups for this series, courtesy of MLB.com.
- Thursday: Syndergaard (NYM) vs. Bumgarner (SF)
- Friday: deGrom (NYM vs. Beede (SF)
- Saturday: TBD vs. Samardzija (SF)
- Sunday: Matz (NYM) vs. Pomeranz (SF)
Now let’s have a look at these matchups in greater detail before getting into some notes on the offenses and bullpens before nailing down my final pick!
Thursday: Noah Syndergaard (7-4, 4.55 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 3.86 ERA)
There’s little doubt it has been a disappointing season for the flame-throwing Syndergaard given his elevated ERA but he sure looked determined to turn things around in his first start of the second half in Miami.
In said start, Syndergaard spun seven innings of two-run ball with nine strikeouts and zero walks in a win over the Marlins in Miami.
Syndergaard’s inconsistency has been a big issue for the Mets this season and one of the many reasons why they bound for playoff-less baseball this October. That said, Syndergaard is due for some positive regression in the second half as his 3.81 FIP and 4.04 xFIP sit notably under his
4.55 ERA while he continues to keep the walks to a minimum with a 2.40 BB/9 on the season.
Syndergaard is bound for much more success on the road in the second half. His 4.68 ERA on the road this season sits well above his stout 3.39 FIP and 3.83 xFIP while his walk rate drops all the way to 1.80 per nine on the road as well and he’s allowed fewer than one homer per nine innings away from Citi Field with a mark of 0.90 HR/9.
Syndergaard pitched 6.2 innings of three-run ball with four strikeouts in a no-decision against the Giants earlier this year at Citi Field.
Madison Bumgarner gets the nod for the series opener on Thursday night in what could amount to his final start as a member of the Giants organization.
He’s delivering nice results in 2019, entering this start sporting a 3.86 ERA, a number that is well supported by his 3.81 FIP and 3.98 xFIP as well. He’s increased the strikeouts to a 9.33 K/9 on the season and a 1.93 BB/9 to boot, both of which are better than career norms.
Bumgarner has been better at home, which makes sense considering the pitching-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Fran where he owns a 3.62 ERA as well as a 3.34 FIP and 3.84 xFIP as well. The walks drop to just 1.67 per nine while the K/BB sits at a very healthy 5.75 mark.
Bumgarner has been building up his trade value nicely of late, pitching to a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts, one of which was cut short to just two innings after getting hit on the pitching elbow by a line drive.
There’s a pair of high-end pitchers going in this one, and it’s tough to find an advantage either way, so I’m going to go with a wash on this one.
Friday: Jacob deGrom (5-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. Tyler Beede (3-3, 5.44 ERA)
He’s not likely to repeat as NL Cy Young winner, however, deGrom has put together a rather impressive stretch of late.
Over his last 10 outings, deGrom has pitched to a 2.57 ERA while he’s struck out 10 in three of his last seven outings. He’s yielded two earned runs or fewer in nine of those 10 starts.
deGrom has pitched to a 3.21 ERA that he deserves as per his 3.13 FIP and 3.31 xFIP. However, he’s been simply dominant on the road where he’s pitched to a 2.80 ERA to go along with a 2.82 FIP and 3.01 xFIP to go along with an elite 6.42 K/BB ratio thanks to a massive 11.36 K/9 mark and a tiny 1.77 BB/9 clip.
He hasn’t been his usual dominant self at Oracle Park in San Francisco throughout his career, but he still owns a 3.86 ERA across three starts at this venue, but also a 2.91 ERA across seven starts against the Giants. He’s yet to face San Francisco this season.
The rookie Tyler Beede hasn’t had much success here in his first tour of the big leagues as he’s coughed up a 5.44 ERA to go along with a 5.30 FIP and 5.02 xFIP. Beede did pitch to a real nice 2.34 ERA in seven Triple-A starts prior to his promotion, however, he also logged a 3.66 FIP and 4.21 xFIP.
The walks and home runs have been an issue for the 26-year-old right-hander. Beede has posted a high 4.91 BB/9 clip and surrendered home runs at a 1.58 HR/9 rate as well.
His numbers haven’t been better at home despite Oracle Park very much favoring pitchers. Beede owns a home ERa of 5.11 on the season to go along with a 4.84 FIP and 4.65 xFIP. Furthermore, the walks jump to 5.84 per nine innings at home and the home runs subside only slightly to 1.46 HR/9. The one stat that has been better at home is the strikeout rate that sits at a stout 10.95 K/9 clip.
Beede was roughed up by the Mets in his lone career start against them for six runs (five earned) in five innings while he allowed two home runs and four walks to boot.
He is coming off a trio of solid starts, but there’s no question who gets the advantage in this pitching matchup.
Saturday: TBD vs. Jeff Samardzija (7-7, 3.93 ERA)
It looks to be a bullpen day for the Mets in game three of this series as it would normally be Zack Wheeler, but Wheeler resides on the IL and cannot be activated before this game.
As a result, the Mets are working with a four-man rotation at the moment and will either have to call someone up from the minors for a spot start or have a bullpen day, something that could result in disaster, but more on the Mets’ ‘pen later.
That said, Samardzija’s season has been riddled with inconsistency. Prior to those three strong starts, Sale allowed a combined 14 runs over a three-start stretch spanning 16 innings, good for a 7.88 ERA.
Samardzija has been good at home with a 3.31 ERA, however, his 3.93 FIP and 4.90 xFIP do suggest notable regression at Oracle Park. Samardzija is allowing 42.7% hard contact at home compared to 40% on the road, so you would think that some more damage is coming against the veteran right-hander at home at some point in the season.
His 3.93 ERA is almost under his 4.47 FIP and 4.93 xFIP, so while he’s been good lately, Samardzija is probably due to allowing some runs here in the near future.
That said, if it’s going to be Samardzija against a bullpen day for the Mets, the choice here is clear.
Sunday: Steven Matz (5-6, 4.87 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (2-9, 6.10 ERA)
It hasn’t been a smooth season for Matz as he owns that 4.87 ERA while his 5.44 FIP and 4.65 xFIP also spell doom for the left-hander.
The troubles have been on the road and the results are ugly. Matz owns a 6.85 ERA on the road to go along with a 7.41 FIP and 5.59 xFIP. Furthermore, his strikeout rate goes from 10.15 K/9 at home all the way to 7.04 on the road while his home run rate skyrockets from 0.69 HR/9 at home to a whopping 3.13 HR/9 on the road.
After a horrible six-start stretch, Matz was removed from the rotation and sent to the bullpen to work out the kinks. He posted an inning of scoreless relief between two appearances before allowing two runs on five hits in four innings in his return to the rotation in his last outing at Minnesota.
Over his last three starts on the road, Matz has put together a 9.62 ERA in outings at Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Minnesota.
He’s yet to face the Giants this season.
Pomeranz’s season hasn’t been good either, but his home/road splits are some of the more drastic splits you will see in baseball.
On the road, Pomeranz has pitched to a brutal 8.54 ERA across 32.2 innings, but that number drops all the way to 4.08 at home in 39.2 frames.
That 4.08 ERA is accompanied by a 4.15 FIP and 4.07 xFIP while his strikeout rate jumps all the way to 11.80 at home as well. He’s also allowed a .375 BABIP at home, a number that should come down as the second half moves along.
The Cardinals got to Pomeranz for four earned runs in four innings in his most recent home start, but he pitched to a 0.90 ERA across his previous four home starts, three of which were of the scoreless variety.
Also of note is that Pomeranz avoided what looked like a disastrous matchup his last time out when he allowed just one earned run on three hits in five innings over the Rockies in Colorado in his most recent start.
He doesn’t have an extensive history against the Mets, but Pomeranz has pitched to a 2.25 ERA across two starts and four appearances against New York for his career.
Given Matz’s disastrous road work this season and Pomeranz mostly dominant stuff at home, I don’t think there’s much of a choice here, either.
Mets vs. Giants MLB Series Pick
One thing I strongly considered in this one was the fact that the Mets’ offense ranks sixth in baseball against left-handed pitching this season and face two lefties in this four-game set.
Still, there are too many things working in the Giants’ favor.
The first two games will be tough to win, for sure. I do like the Giants slightly with Bumgarner on the hill, but the Mets hit lefties well and Syndergaard could be tough if he’s one. Game two will be tough against deGrom with the rookie Beede on the mound.
That said, if the Mets roll out a bullpen day in game three, I love the Giants there. The Mets’ bullpen has been a disaster with a 5.44 ERA, good for 28th in baseball. On the flip side, the Giants’ bullpen is tied for sixth with a 3.91 ERA. This is a big reason why I like the Giants in this series.
Both teams are hot entering the series. The Giants have won five in a row while the Mets enter the series with four consecutive wins under their belt.
That said, while the Giants are just 20-26 at home, the Mets are a brutal 21-32 on the road.
The importance on game one for this pick is huge. If the Mets win, our pick is in tough given deGrom going versus Beede in game two to at least earn a split. If the Giants win behind Bumgarner, which I think they will do, they look really good considering the advantage they hold in games three and four.
Add in the big bullpen advantage on the Giants’ behalf and I think San Fran comes out and wins this series. Given the odds, it’s also the Giants that hold the most value.