Arizona Diamondbacks (67-56; 55-61-7 O/U) vs. New York Mets (54-67; 67-43-11 O/U)
MLB: Monday, August 21, 2017 at 7:10pm EST
Line: Arizona -120/New York +110
The New York Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks will kick off a four game series starting Monday night from Citi Field. The Diamondbacks will give the nod to 25-year old right-hander Taijuan Walker, and the Mets will turn to 24-year old right-hander Robert Gsellman. The Diamondbacks recorded a three game sweep over the Mets earlier this season.
Walker Searching for First Win Since June
Taijuan Walker will get the call for the 21st time of the season, hoping to avoid his third straight loss. Walker conceded five runs (three earned) in five innings to the Astros in his previous start and was charged with the loss to bring his record to 6-7. The 6-foot-4 right-hander continues to pitch well on most nights, and now features a 3.83 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 115 innings pitched. He has not faced the Mets this season, and he held them to two runs in five innings in his lone career start back in 2014. Walker is having some trouble keeping the ball in the park, serving up nine home runs over his last eight starts. Paul Goldschmidt is having a monster month of August, smashing seven home runs along with 18 RBI’s. The career .302 hitter is having a very consistent season, currently sporting a .319 average with 19 home runs and ranks third in the Majors with 96 RBI’s. Goldschmidt has collected a hit in 3 of 12 at bats against the Mets this season.
The Diamondbacks strong offense is scoring an average of 4.85 runs per game, good for eighth in the Majors and possess a .254 team batting average. The Arizona pitching has been solid all season, sporting a 3.68 team ERA, ranking them third in the Major Leagues.
Gsellman with Encouraging Outing in No Decision to Yankees
Robert Gsellman will make his 19th appearance and 16th start of the season, looking to get back in the win column. Gsellman was solid in his previous performance, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings to the Yankees, and finished with the no decision in a game the Mets lost. The young right-hander has been unable to find his groove this season, posting a 5.98 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP accompanied with a 5-5 record in 81.1 innings of work. He conceded one run in one inning of relief in his only career action against the Diamondbacks. Gsellman has not won at home since June 3rd. Wilmer Flores is looking much better at the plate, collecting eight RBI’s along with three homers over his last nine games. The 26-year old third baseman has not progressed a whole lot from last season and is currently hitting .281 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI’s. Flores is a solid 5 for 9 with two RBI’s against Arizona this season.
The Mets are currently averaging 4.67 runs per game, ranking them 18th overall, and are hitting .247 as a team. The New York pitching owns a poor 4.84 team ERA, placing them down at 26th in the Majors.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 games against the Mets.
- 7-1 in their last 8 Monday games.
- 7-3 in their last 10 games in the first game of a series.
The New York Mets are:
- 0-4 in Gsellman’s last 4 starts.
- 1-5 in Gsellman’s last 6 starts against a team with a winning record.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games overall.
I am siding with the Diamondbacks in this matchup. Walker has pitched well on the road this season, posting a solid 3.30 ERA in 11 starts, so I am confident backing him. Furthermore, Gsellman has been wildly inconsistent, and he has conceded a total of 21 runs (19 earned) over his last four starts, so I expect Arizona to put some crooked numbers on the board. The Mets have unloaded several key pieces to their lineup, and I can’t see them generating enough offense against Walker.