Mets at Giants

Must Bet MLB Series this week: Mets at Giants

It’s a potential National League playoff preview to open this week as the NL East-contending New York Mets visit the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, who are favored on the series MLB odds.

MLB National League playoff preview 2021

  • When: Monday-Wednesday
  • Where: Oracle Park
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
The Mets remain without arguably their best player in shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has missed several weeks with an oblique injury but does appear close and may not undergo a rehab assignment. He won’t be back for this series, though.

One of the reasons the team traded for Cubs shortstop Javy Baez was to cover for Lindor while he’s out, but now Baez is on the injured list too with back spasms. The 28-year-old has blasted 24 home runs over 398 plate appearances, posting a big .230 isolated power (slugging minus batting average). He’s continued to rate as a plus defensive shortstop and baserunner as well but his 62.3% contact rate is the second-lowest (better only than Tampa Bay catcher Mike Zunino’s) among the 223 hitters with 250+ plate appearances this year. Baez’s 36.4% strikeout rate is third-highest among that same group.

The Mets are terrific at home but 23-35 with a 4.39 ERA (235 earned runs/481.1 innings) with 155 walks and 504 strikeouts on the road this year. Overall, the Mets are 46-15 when scoring first this season. The team’s .754 winning percentage is the third-best record in the major leagues when scoring first this season.

Over the weekend, the Giants activated third baseman Evan Longoria off a long stint on the injured list. San Francisco has scored 51.5% of its runs off home runs, most in the majors. Only two Giants teams since 1950 have led MLB in home runs (including ties for the lead) and only one since the team moved West in 1958: 1954 NY Giants (186 HR tied with Brooklyn) & 1972 SF Giants (150 HR).

The Giants’ pitching staff has a 63.5% first-pitch strike percentage, tops in the Majors just ahead of Tampa Bay (63.3%) and the Dodgers (62.8%).

Monday’s starting pitching matchup is Mets lefty Rich Hill vs. Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman. Hill has no decisions in four games (three starts) with New York since coming from Tampa Bay in trade and has allowed 11 runs, 10 earned, on 17 hits in 18.0 innings, good for a 5.00 ERA. He has walked seven and struck out 12 in his four appearances for the Mets.

Gausman allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts over five innings in a win over the Diamondbacks last Wednesday. The 30-year-old was done after five innings at 87 pitches — 53 for strikes. Gausman has a 2.29 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 162 strikeouts over 137 1/3 innings.

Tuesday it’s scheduled to be Marcus Stroman for the Mets and Logan Webb for the Giants. Stroman tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a last Thursday against the Nationals. Stroman scattered three hits and two walks while matching his season-high with eight strikeouts. He is 8-11 on the season with a 2.79 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 114/31 K/BB ratio in 24 starts covering 132 1/3 innings.

Webb recorded eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings last Thursday in a win over the Rockies. Webb scattered three hits and a pair of walks, while also generating 13 swinging strikes — including eight whiffs on his slider alone. The electrifying 24-year-old righty has allowed just seven runs on 25 hits with a stellar 36/9 K/BB ratio across 36 innings (seven starts) since returning from the injured list on July 9.

Wednesday is a bit up in the air but it likely will be Tylor Megill for New York and Anthony DeSclafani for the Giants – Wednesday is a matinee at 3:45 p.m. ET. The other two games are at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Expert Prediction

  • Giants win two of three

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