It’s the opener of a weekend set between a pair of NL East rivals on the diamond in the Big Apple. The Miami Marlins are on the road as they make the trip to face the New York Mets in the opening game of a three-game set Thursday afternoon. Miami closed a three-game set at home against the Cardinals Wednesday hoping to avoid a sweep after dropping the middle game of the set 4-2 on Tuesday night. New York played the rubber game of their season-opening three-game set with the Phillies on the road Wednesday afternoon: they beat Philadelphia 8-4 on Tuesday to split the first two games. Last season, the Mets won six of the 10 meetings with the Marlins claiming a 5-3 victory on the road in the most recent matchup on August 31, 2020.
Miami Marlins Hoping to Get Things Going on the RoadMiami entered Wednesday losers of two straight and four of their first five games as they were knocked off by St. Louis Tuesday night. The Marlins entered Wednesday fourth in the NL East, three games behind the Phillies for the division lead. On Tuesday, Miami led 2-0 after five innings but gave up three runs in the sixth to fall behind. They were unable to get even again. The Marlins finished with seven hits with no player having more than one: Jazz Chisholm Jr. drove in a run with a sacrifice fly while the other scored on an error. Sandy Alcantara (0-1) took the loss on the mound as he allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts over six innings of work.
Sandy is 🗣piling 🗣them 🗣up. pic.twitter.com/9DD2OmAj0z— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 7, 2021
Nick Neidert is expected to make his season debut for the Marlins in this contest. He made four appearances, all in relief, last season for the Marlins, posting no record with a 5.40 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, two walks and four strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. In his fifth career major league appearance and first start, Neidert is expected to face the Mets for the first time in his career. That means this will be his first career outing at Citi Field as well. In the minor leagues, he is 33-23 with a 3.20 ERA, a 1.148 WHIP, 102 walks and 414 strikeouts over 460.2 innings of action in 94 career starts. Neidert was called up on Monday after Elieser Hernandez was placed on the 10-day IL with a biceps injury.
New York Mets Ready to Play Home OpenerNew York closed out their first series of the season Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia and are prepared for their home opener here. The Mets had their original opening series of the season against the Nationals postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak for Washington. Against the Phillies on Tuesday, New York broke open a close game with a four-run seventh inning and went on to the victory. The Mets finished with five hits with Pete Alonso (two runs, two RBI) the lone player with two in the game. Dominic Smith (his first) and Alonso (his first) each went deep in the victory. Marcus Stroman (1-0) earned the win on the mound as he threw six innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Taijuan Walker is slated to take the hill and make his Mets debut in this contest. He made 11 starts with the Mariners and Blue Jays last season, going 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP, 19 walks and 50 strikeouts over 53.1 innings of work. Walker took the loss in his lone career start against the Marlins, which came with the Diamondbacks back on September 23, 2017 at home. He threw 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in a 12-6 Diamondbacks defeat. Walker didn’t factor in the decision in his lone start at Citi Field, which came with the Diamondbacks on August 21, 2017. He threw 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a game Arizona eventually won 3-2 in 10 innings.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Marlins are 1-7 in their last 8 games on grass
- Marlins are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. National League East teams
- Marlins are 1-7 in their last 8 overall
- Mets are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is going to be an interesting affair as the Marlins have had their struggles getting things going at the plate this season. Miami entered Wednesday with a .238/.310/.348 slash line but they scored 12 runs in their one victory compared to seven runs combined in their four losses. The Mets are at home and they are going to be fresher with only three games under their belt compared to the six that the Marlins will have played by the time this series gets underway. New York has been good at the plate against a Phillies staff that shut down the Braves last weekend. Give the Mets the edge at home in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Miami saw a total of 41 runs on the board in their first five games (19 runs for, 22 runs against) so far. That gives the Marlins an average total of 8.2 runs per game on the board this season. The Marlins went over the total in two of their three games against the Rays but stayed under the mark in each of their first two games with the Cardinals entering Wednesday. New York has gone over the mark in both their games this season and stand tied for 10th by scoring 5.5 runs per game. The Mets are surrendering 4.5 runs per contest, giving them an average total of 10 runs per game. Still, with a lot of arms likely being shuffled in and out, along with the Marlins’ inconsistency at the plate, this one ends up under the mark.