New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks
Moneyline: NYM -120/ARI +110
Series: NYM -115/ARI -115
First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Zack Wheeler (4-3, 4.63 ERA) vs. Jon Duplantier (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
After dropping three of four in Los Angeles, the Mets head into the back-end of their seven-game West Coast road trip with a series in Arizona on Friday night as road favorites -- which is not very common for a club below the .500 mark when facing a somewhat decent team.
There's a distinct reason for that, though. In this series opener, the Diamondbacks are sending rookie Duplantier to the mound for his first major league start.
While the 2016 third-round draft choice has fared pretty well in his limited time in the bigs thus far, that's all come exclusively out of the bullpen.
Starting is a much different challenge and it's one Duplantier has had a hard time trying to figure out during his first year in Triple-A. He's made six starts for the Reno Aces but has an unflattering 4.76 ERA and 1.41 WHIP to show for it.
That could be tempting to a lineup that has scored at least five runs in nine of its last 11 ballgames. Pete Alonso has been leading the way, going 11-for-37 (.297) with nine extra-base hits, including five homers, and nine RBI within that span.
Wheeler has been pretty hot as well, hence why he's the listed favorite. He's pitched into the seventh inning or deeper in nine straight starts and most recently picked up his fourth win of the season.
The 29-year-old also struck out eight in the effort, improving to a 10.03 K/9 ratio, a career-best for the strikeout artist.
How I Would Bet This Game
While the Mets are coming off a disappointing series at Dodger Stadium, they're the team to back here in this evening's series opener with -120 odds. They have the clear advantage in the pitching matchup, and considering how Arizona enters this encounter on a four-game skid, it doesn't seem like the D-backs can overcome that.
Should You Bet The Series?
It's pretty hard to bet on any Mets series given their wild inconsistencies. This weekend's three-game set looks tempting because they're more likely than not to begin it with a victory, but it's probably best to just go with a game-by-game approach.