MLB Weekend Preview: Mets at Brewers

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

May 3rd, 2019

The New York Mets (16-15) and Milwaukee Brewers (17-16) commence a three-game series Friday night at Miller Park. Both clubs had division-title aspirations but are treading water after just more than a month’s worth of games. Here’s what bettors should be watching for throughout this series.

Friday, 8:10 p.m. ET

Steven Matz (3-1, 3.68 ERA) (NYM) +115 / +1.5 runs (-180) / Over 8.5 runs (-115) Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 5.17 ERA) (MIL) -125 / -1.5 runs (+150) / Under 8.5 runs (-105)

The Mets should get even with the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff after losing to him Saturday at Citi Field.

The majority of Mets hitters had never faced Woodruff prior to Saturday, which is primarily why he was able to scatter six hits and a walk in five innings of work while allowing just one run. Now that New York has experience against him, Woodruff might play to his season ERA of 5.17 Friday night. Pete Alonso, NL Rookie of the Month for April, had two hits in three trips to the plate against the Mississippi native Saturday.

If Woodruff struggles the Brewers’ 22nd-ranked bullpen by ERA (4.85) could be called into action early. Manager Craig Counsell may be without one of his best relievers in Jeremy Jeffress, who has worked three innings in the last two days.

Steven Matz, who held Milwaukee to two runs on five hits Sunday, counters for the Mets. Aside from a disastrous effort against the Phillies on April 16, in which he failed to record an out while surrendering six earned runs, Matz has been New York’s most reliable pitcher this season. Christian Yelich, expected to return to the lineup after missing almost a week with a back issue, has an OPS of just .594 in 18 at-bats against Matz.

MLB Free Play: Mets moneyline

Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET

Zack Wheeler (2-2, 5.05 ERA), who has been solid when pitching on the road for New York, faces a familiar Mets foe in Milwaukee’s Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 3.60 ERA) on Saturday night.

Over the past three seasons, Wheeler’s opponent batting average in road games is just .234, compared to .253 in starts at Citi Field. He’s struggled to find his best stuff this season, but Wheeler should be able to hold his own at Miller Park.

Gonzalez faced the Mets on Sunday in his first start of 2019 and allowed two runs, six hits and a walk through five innings. New York might find offense from an unusual source in center fielder Juan Lagares in this one, as he owns a 1.036 OPS in 47 at-bats against Gonzalez.

Sunday, 2:10 p.m. ET

Zach Davies (3-0, 1.38 ERA), who tops in the NL in ERA through a month of play (six starts), draws a favorable starting matchup with the Mets’ Jason Vargas (1-1, 5.75 ERA) in the Sunday afternoon finale. However, Davies has had his struggles with the Mets in the past.

In his last six starts against New York, Davies is 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA. Third baseman Todd Frazier, catcher Wilson Ramos and outfielder Brandon Nimmo are a combined 9-for-14 in previous meetings with the Arizona native.

Vargas has been serviceable for the Mets in his last three starts, allowing just three earned runs in his last 14 innings. The Brewers haven’t been all that effective against lefties this season, ranking 13th in OBP at .328. New York skipper Mickey Callaway will be hoping his 28th-rated bullpen by ERA (5.37) can put up some zeroes behind Vargas.