Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Moneyline: MIA +150/NYM -170
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Pablo Lopez (2-4, 4.03 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (2-2, 4.64 ERA)
The Mets will get their second crack at the worst team in the league, the Marlins, who enter this three-game set with a pitiful 10-27 record. That mark easily has them anchored in the NL East cellar and, already, a full seven games back of New York in the standings.
Although they went 12-7 against the Fish last year, the Amazins can't take this matchup too lightly considering they've endured their own struggles recently. Losing five of their last six has dropped them three games below the .500 mark, and within that span, the Mets have topped three runs only once.
Fortunately, one of the club's most consistent pitchers in Wheeler will be on the rubber tonight to open up the series. Since a rough pair of outings to begin his season, the 28-year-old has settled in nicely, pitching the Mets into the sixth inning or deeper in each of his last five assignments. Additionally, all but one of those went in the books as a quality start.
Perhaps most importantly in terms of his outlook for this evening, Wheeler will be getting an opponent that he's historically had a lot of success against. In fact, in 11 career meetings with the Marlins, he's 5-2 with a real stingy 1.89 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Not only that, Miami's three most intimidating hitters -- Brian Anderson, Starlin Castro and Martin Prado -- are a combined 10-for-43 (.233) with just three RBI off the right-hander.
It is the Marlins' young starting pitching that makes them most dangerous, however, and Wheeler's counterpart in this one, Lopez, is a fine example of that.
Despite a 2-4 record, Lopez has actually been pretty good, holding a serviceable 4.03 ERA while striking out more than a batter per inning in 38 frames. He's also limiting opposing hitters to a .225 batting average, which ranks him 16th in the league.
The Mets actually saw Lopez in his major league debut last June -- and it was the Venezuelan native who got the better of the matchup, yielding only two runs over six solid innings and racking up five K's. That's New York's only experience with the right-hander.
How I Would Bet This Game
Lopez's general steadiness since first coming up makes it hard to lay such pricey -170 odds against him, so unless you're looking to bet on the Marlins for value, it may not be wise to bet on who will win. Instead, I'd recommend the under, but wait first up until game time to see if it moves from 7 to 7.5.
Should You Bet The Series?
Of course, it's tempting to want to take the Mets, given you're getting their three strongest arms to lean on. But the unfriendly -250 odds make that difficult to pull the trigger on. It's typically not smart to lay that much juice on a series bet, especially with Miami being able to boast strong starting pitching of their own.