New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants
Moneyline: NYM -140/SF +130
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Jason Vargas (1-3, 4.46 ERA) vs. Tyler Beede (0-1, 7.82 ERA)
After dropping a heartbreaker in extra innings at home last night, the Mets will play host to the Giants for the second meeting in this three-game set, looking to put a stop to its three-game skid that began Saturday night in Arizona.
Previously, it would be downright uncomfortable relying on Vargas for such a task, but believe it or not, the 15-year veteran has actually been one of the club's most consistent options on the mound as of late.
In each of his last six starts, Vargas has held the opponent to three runs or fewer, yielding only a single run in five of those outings. Sure, there's been some durability concerns, as Vargas made it past the fifth in only half those assignments. But that shouldn't take away from the overall solid work he's provided.
One item that sticks out is that Vargas has been garnering more strikeouts. Within the aforementioned six-start stretch, the 36-year-old southpaw recorded five or more K's three times. In his first four starts of the campaign, Vargas failed to even top three punchouts.
Taking on a soft-hitting lineup like San Francisco's could also help to ensure Vargas keeps this run going. The Giants rank 28th in team batting average (.222) and 29th in OPS (.631) against left-handers.
Don't just assume, though, that a fine performance from Vargas will get the job done if you were pondering a bet on the Mets. They'll be facing a youngster who's definitely better than the numbers indicate.
That would be Beede, who is making just his third Major League start of the season and the fifth of his career. Based on his last performance, however, it looks like the former first-round draft pick is ready to stick around at this level.
In Beede's last start a week ago against the Miami Marlins, he went six innings for the first time in his young career and allowed only a single run. Command has always been an issue for the Vanderbilt product, but he was mostly in control in the effort.
Beede has never had any problems in the minor leagues. In fact, this year he owned a shiny 2.34 ERA while racking up 49 strikeouts in 34.2 innings at Triple-A Sacramento. He may be in the midst of finally putting it all together.
How I Would Bet This Game
It's a matchup of two starting pitchers that are trending up, so the under is the call here. At least one of these hurlers figures to contribute an above-average performance, and with the total as high as it is at 8.5, that could be all that's needed.