July 24 MLB Preview — San Diego Padres (47-53) at New York Mets (46-54)

(Noah Snyndergaard photo courtesy Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Wednesday, July 24, Citi Field, Queens, N.Y., 7:10 p.m. EDT.

While the possibility, albeit slim, of Noah Syndergaard being traded before the July 31 deadline, Wednesday night’s matchup versus the San Diego Padres could be his final home start as a member of the New York Mets.

Lamet tries again for first win of 2019 for Padres

Dinelson Lamet (0-2, 5.14 ERA) is making his fourth start since missing the last season-plus following elbow surgery and again bids for his first win since 2017.

Lamet did not pitch all that badly in his four innings at Miami on Thursday, yielding three runs — one earned — while striking out five. The Padres rallied to help the right-hander avoid a loss in their eventual 4-3 walkoff loss to the Marlins.

The right-hander has walked two in each of his three starts, so Lamet’s command has not come all the way back. But with each passing start, he is confident he can improve going forward.

“The more I’m on the mound, the better I feel,” Lamet told the Padres’ official website. “The more batters I face, the better I feel. As that continues to go, I’ll feel even better.”

Lamet began his career with a win over the Mets on May 25, 2017, allowing a solo homer and three hits overall while striking out eight in five innings of a 4-3 Padres victory.

Syndergaard on block, but Wheeler most likely to move

Syndergaard (7-4, 4.36) is attractive to suitors because he has a manageable $6 million salary for the remainder of this season and two team-controlled years regarding arbitration rights.

The Mets, though, will likely try to command a high price for the right-hander that could scare off most teams. A potential trade with the cross-town rival Yankees involving Syndergaard could also cause a backlash among the fan base.

Wheeler’s trade value may have diminished some after being put on the injured list earlier this month, but the Mets hope by starting him Friday, some of those interested teams will circle back.

Amid this backdrop, Syndergaard makes a second bid to run his personal winning streak to five games. The right-hander pitched well enough to claim it Thursday in San Francisco where he limited the Giants to one run in seven innings, but he was long gone by the time the Mets lost 3-2 in 16 innings.

Syndergaard appears to have moved on from his first-half struggles, striking out 17 in 14 innings while conceding three runs in his two starts after the All-Star break. He did not fare as well against the Padres in May, yielding five runs and nine hits — including two home runs — in six innings before the Mets rallied late for a 7-6 victory.

Though Syndergaard is 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA in four career starts versus the Padres, the lone win was a masterful performance in his only outing against them at Citi Field in 2015. He struck out nine without a walk and scattered three hits in eight innings of a 4-0 victory.

Syndergaard is 4-0 with a 4.03 ERA in his last seven starts at Citi Field, with the Mets backing him with an average of 6.65 runs in those games while going 5-2.

Notable Trends

The Mets are:

  • 4-0 in Syndergaard’s last four home starts.
  • 12-2 in their last 14 home games vs. sub-.500 teams.
  • 6-1 in Syndergaard’s last seven starts during game 2 of a series.

The Padres are:

  • 3-14 in their last 17 games vs. sub-.500 teams.
  • 1-8 in their last nine games vs. NL East teams.
  • 0-6 in Lamet’s last six starts following a loss in the previous game.

*****5-Star Pick*****

Mets -1.5 runs (+135)

It may have taken almost four months, but it looks like Syndergaard has finally turned a corner with the passing of the All-Star break. The hard-throwing right-hander has been sharp in both his outings, and the contrast he offers following the softer-throwing Jason Vargas from New York’s series-opening win Monday night should give him a chance to settle in early and continue his roll.

****4-Star Pick****

Mets -0.5 runs first 5 innings (+121)

Since failing to provide a lead for the Mets in their first series against San Diego, Syndergard has helped New York trail after five innings just once in his last 11 starts (7-1-3). That includes a 2-0-2 mark in his last four outings, and Tuesday’s win continued a positive five-inning trend for the Mets in which they are 4-1-4 in their last nine games.

***3-Star Picks***

OVER 8 runs (-115)

This number will likely go back and forth between eight and 8.5 runs until the first pitch, and the hook will make all the difference in what to take for this game.

The over has been trending with Syndergaard of late at home, where it has gone 5-1 in his last six starts. The over has also delivered the last seven time the Mets right-hander has pitched on five days of rest and is 11-5-1 in his last 17 starts overall.

This line has clicked back to 8.5 runs since this preview was published, which swings the value greatly to -121 for the under versus even money for the over. This is essentially a pick your own adventure — if you’re confident in the over, shop around for a flat eight total. If you are confident in Syndergaard and Lamet being strong early, shop around for the 8.5 total.

Padres UNDER 3.5 runs (-115)

The expectation is the Padres come right up to the number and fall short of that fourth run. The Mets’ bullpen continues to be a concern that is enough to warrant not going more aggressively on this pick, but the expectation is Syndergaard turns in a quality start that puts New York on a path to keep San Diego at three runs or fewer.

OVER 4.5 runs first 5 innings (-115)

The five-inning over has gone 6-2-1 in Syndergaard’s last nine starts, which includes a 5-1 mark in his last six at Citi Field. It goes directly against the Mets’ trend in which the five-inning under is 6-0-3 in their last nine games, but with the number dropping to 4.5 since its opening of five runs, the hook is enough to play the over.

UNDER 0.5 runs/NO 1st inning run (-115)

While Syndergaard has yielded at least one first-inning run in four of his 10 starts at Citi Field, he also has held opponents scoreless in six of his last eight outings. Lamet has made one mistake in his three starts since returning to San Diego’s rotation, a three-run homer by James Donaldson versus Atlanta.

As a rotation, the Mets have not conceded a first-inning run since coming out of the All-Star break and also have failed to score in the first inning of their last four games.

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