There is no doubt about the best pitching matchup on the betting board for Saturday night. It just so happens to be the late game between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres. Jacob deGrom and Joe Musgrove. What could be better than that? The Mets are a small road favorite with a very low total of 5.5 at BetUS Sportsbook for the nightcap of the evening out at Petco Park in beautiful San Diego, CA. The Mets are still very shorthanded on the offensive side of spectrum, but deGrom is used to no run support and doesn’t need much of it. This should be a great game.

New York Mets

As pitchers around the league try to figure out what to do about the crackdown on sticky substances, Jacob deGrom snickers to himself in a dark room like an evil genius. deGrom has simply made it a point to throw the baseball really, really hard and that has been a huge part of his continued success as a pitcher. There hasn’t been a time when deGrom has been “bad”. He just hasn’t always been otherworldly like he is now and has been for four straight seasons. He’s averaging 99 mph on his fastball. He averaged 98.7 mph in 2020. deGrom is unhittably good in every facet of pitching, as he has the premier velocity to go along with excellent breaking stuff and generally awesome command. deGrom has 82 strikeouts in just 51 innings, as he has been limited to eight starts because of a side injury that kept him out of the rotation for a few starts in May. He’s allowed four earned runs on 22 hits. Three of the hits have been home runs, so congratulations to those guys for being really good at what they do as well. While deGrom has been on the mound, the Mets have scored all of 20 runs in support of him. He’s 9-for-20 on the season with eight singles, a double, three RBI, and four runs scored, so he’s taken it upon himself to do that, too. Things are slowly, but surely improving for the Mets offense. Pete Alonso and Kevin Pillar are back. They’re still missing JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo, among others. The Mets don’t have great offensive numbers for the season and have struggled with runners in scoring position, but they’re slowly getting healthier and the starting staff has been strong enough to not need a ton of help.

San Diego Padres

Joe Musgrove doesn’t quite have deGromian numbers, but the California kid sure seems to enjoy pitching back at home. Musgrove, who has one of baseball’s 37 no-hitters to his name this season, has a 2.08 ERA with a 2.75 FIP in his 10 starts and one relief outing. It will be interesting to see how Musgrove does here. He took one for the team and worked four innings in relief during a blowout last week to spare the bullpen. He was slated to start the next night, but the Padres needed him for something else and his teammates certainly have to respect his willingness to go out there and do that. Musgrove has struck out 79 and walked 12 in his 60.2 innings. He’s actually hit seven batters as well, which is weird, given that he’s never hit more than nine in a season. Musgrove has allowed 14 earned runs on 34 hits, including six home runs. The Padres offense has a much higher ceiling and a lot more potential than the Mets offense, especially in New York’s current state. That being said, the Padres offense still sits in the middle of the pack in both wOBA and wRC+, which is a park-adjusted metric, so it takes into account the mild hardships of hitting at Petco Park. San Diego has had a solid rotation and a great bullpen this season, which has been more than enough to overcome an offense that has underachieved a little bit. On paper, this group has a much higher ceiling than being slightly below league average, but we haven’t really seen it, save for a few weeks against a bunch of teams with bad pitching.

Mets vs. Padres Free Pick

It’s too hard to take an under this low, so it’s over or nothing with the total. Rather than focus on that, though, we can take a look at the side and side with the Padres. While the San Diego offense is unlikely to do much against deGrom, the Mets offense is unlikely to do a lot against Musgrove. The Padres bullpen is better than the Mets bullpen and we’re getting that unit at plus money if this is a close game. Pick: San Diego Padres