MLB Picks - Saturday, May 22
New York Mets at Miami Marlins
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: TBD vs. Pablo Lopez (1-3, 3.12 ERA)
When dealing with a game featuring one side that is unsure on the starter, it’s wise to make sure the other can be a constant.
That’ll be the case here with Lopez, a potential All Star this year thanks to a promising first month and a half in which he’s continued to build on his (shortened) breakout campaign of one season ago.
In 2020, the fourth-year Marlin made significant strides, pitching to the tune of a 6-4 record and 3.61 ERA across 11 outings — those six wins were nearly as many as he had in his first 31 starts prior.
Lopez also shined in his first career playoff assignment, limiting a hard-hitting Atlanta Braves club to just a pair of runs on three hits in five innings while racking up seven strikeouts to zero walks as well.
Thus far this season, Lopez is continuing that solid work. His strikeout rate (8.45 K/9) is similar to his career-best mark (9.53 K/9) from last year (including postseason) and he’s been consistently good, allowing more than two runs only twice in his turns.
And there’s a lot to salivate about regarding this particular spot for Lopez. One, he’ll be working from home, where he’s been significantly better throughout his career. In fact, he holds a lifetime 2.92 ERA and 1.11 WHIP at Marlins Park, easily besting the 5.90 ERA and 1.39 WHIP he’s churned out on the road. Lopez also generally thrives more during daytime hours (3.00 ERA) than at night (4.75 ERA).
On top of it all, just look at the ragtag group of hitters Lopez will be contending with due to the Mets’ many injuries at the moment. Johneshwy Fargas? Khalil Lee? Wilfredo Tofar? Give me those dead bats.
Garnering a gem from Lopez looks like a fine possibility. But what about the Mets?
I actually like what they’re about to deploy. The facade is that they used seven relievers last night in a draining four-plus-hour, extra-innings affair, but this came after an off day, meaning most of the Mets bullpen can still be available.
We know we can get expect a sizable bulk for Sean Reid-Foley, coming off a very impressive three-inning, scoreless outing on Monday filling in for the injured Taijuan Walker, which resulted in a victory.
Southpaw Joey Lucchesi will also be lurking after not having pitched since last Saturday. While his name might induce some groans, I assure you this is someone that’s better than his current numbers. His unique pitching motion from the left side could also nicely complement Reid-Foley.
Plug in the rest of a talented New York pen where needed and voila; a formidable effort to combat Lopez and keep it close.
MLB Predictions and Picks
Pick: UNDER 7.5 @ -111 (Click to bet)
Saturday MLB Leans
Mariners-Padres Under 7.5
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “24-23-2,” -2.09 units
Yesterday’s Result: Dodgers-Giants Under 7 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit