The New York Mets try to avoid a second straight loss when they face the host Miami Marlins in the first of a four-game series between National League East rivals on Monday night. The series opener is set for a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch at loanDepot park in Miami.
The Mets dropped two of three in a weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds, including a 7-1 setback on Sunday. New York is 55-49 and in first place in the NL East, leading the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by 3½ games and the third-place Atlanta Braves by four games.
Miami has lost four straight after being swept by the New York Yankees in a three-game weekend series. The Marlins are 44-61 and in last place in the NL East, trailing the fourth-place Washington Nationals by five games.
If you want to bet on this contest, the MLB odds have the Mets with a moneyline of -150, while the Marlins are listed at +130. The over/under for the series opener is set at seven runs.
The Mets added shortstop Javier Baez at the trade deadline on Friday, but the team’s offense still struggled on Sunday, managing just three hits and one run. One of the bats that New York would like to see get going belongs to outfielder Michael Conforto, who went 0-for-2 in the game and is hitting just .196.
“He’s working hard every day,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said after Sunday’s loss. “The number of swings that he’s taken in the last couple days, and he’s finding his way into his rhythm, his timing — everything. You guys know that Michael has a solid attitude, so he’s simplifying things. I think he’s close. I always think he’s close.”
Conforto comes into this series on an 0-for-13 slide, with 10 doubles and six home runs in 69 games. He’s driven in 24 runs and scored 21 times.
Baez had a solid debut on Saturday, hitting a home run, but he followed that up with an 0-for-4 outing on Sunday. Baez is hitting .245 with 23 home runs and 67 RBIs, but he’s also struck out a National League-high 133 times.
New York will have right-hander Tylor Megill on the mound for Monday’s opener. The 26-year-old is 1-0 with a 2.04 ERA in seven starts in his first season in the majors.
Megill has 39 strikeouts and 11 walks over 35.1 innings. He went 5.1 innings in his last outing, facing Atlanta on Wednesday, allowing one run on five hits while striking out six and walking none. He took a no-decision in a 2-1 Mets victory.
A question that has been asked many times this season is who is pitching for the Marlins? Miami has been dealing with injuries to its rotation all season and dipped into the minors to recall left-hander Jesús Luzardo to make Monday’s start.
The Marlins acquired Luzardo in the trade that sent Starling Marte to the Oakland Athletics . He was 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA in 13 appearances (six starts) with the A’s. Despite all the juggling, Miami comes into Monday’s action with the fifth-best team ERA in baseball at 3.53. However, the Marlins have just 38 quality starts through 105 games.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar is the team’s big hitter now that Adam Duvall has been dealt away. Aguilar is tied for sixth in the majors with 75 RBIs, hitting 17 doubles and 18 home runs and scoring 34 times. He’s hitting just .176 with no extra-base hits in 17 at-bats against the Mets this season.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas leads the Marlins with a .267 batting average and has a four-game hit streak. Rojas has 22 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 27 RBIs and 43 runs scored.
The Marlins have won three of the five completed games between these teams this season. One of their games in April was stopped after just nine pitches.
Miami has yet to name a starter for Tuesday’s game, but it will have Zach Thompson (2-4, 2.33 ERA) going on Wednesday followed by Trevor Rogers (7-6, 2.45) in the series finale. New York is scheduled to have Taijuan Walker (7-5, 3.71) on the mound for the second game followed by Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 2.25) and Rich Hill (6-4, 4.10).
Looking at the MLB series prices, the Mets are listed as the favorites in this set with a moneyline of -190, while the Marlins are listed at +155.
Mets Win Opener
Luzaro has not pitched in the majors since June 19 and his last start was May 1. Despite facing an unknown pitcher, New York should have enough offense to take the opener.
When doing your MLB betting, take New York to win on the road.
Pick: New York Mets -145