Desperate for any positive momentum heading into the All-Star break, the New York Mets will look to make it three wins in a row as they head west to kick off a mid-week series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch of Tuesday’s opener is set for 4:10 p.m. ET from Chase Field in Phoenix. New York will send righty Kodai Senga (6-5, 3.53 ERA) to the mound, while Arizona counters with Zach Davies (1-4, 6.54).
This one is nearly a pick ‘em on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Mets checking in at -115 and the D-backs at -105. The run total is set at 9.5.
Mets-Diamondbacks picks: Tuesday, July 4
Out: RP Edwin Uceta (knee), SP Jose Quintana (ribs), OF Tim Locastro (thumb), SP/RP Elieser Hernandez (shoulder)
Day to day: OF Corbin Carroll (shoulder)
Out: SP Merrill Kelly (leg), RP Cole Sulser (shoulder), RP Mark Melancon (shoulder)
Kodai Senga vs. Zach Davies
Senga has found a bit more consistency of late, but he remains less dominant than his electric stuff suggests he should be. Command issues are a big reason why, as the righty’s walk rate sits in the sixth-percentile league-wide. His last two starts are a perfect example: Senga racked up 14 strikeouts in 10.1 innings, but five walks helped six runs come across as he took a loss and a no-decision. (In all, he handed out a whopping 15 free passes in just 26.1 innings in the month of June.) When he has the feel for his splitter, he can be as good as anyone, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what Senga we’ll be getting on any given day.
Davies is coming off of easily his best start of 2023, spinning seven innings of two-hit ball against the Tampa Bay Rays last week. It was just the fourth time in nine starts that he’s allowed fewer than three runs, as the righty has gotten knocked around a bit this season. He relies heavily on his changeup, throwing it nearly 30% of the time, but batters have teed off on it to the tune of a .333 average and .550 slugging percentage. Given his lack of velocity (he averages just 90 mph on his fastball), Davies needs to rely on keeping batters off-balance if he wants to survive — when he has his good change and keeps his sinker out of the heart of the plate, he can have success, but the margin for error is thin.
Good luck figuring out which Mets lineup is going to show up on any given day, as New York can look like world-beaters one game and then go completely dormant the next. The D-backs, meanwhile, have struggled with Corbin Carroll out of the lineup, ranking 21st in baseball in team OPS over the past two weeks and scoring just 14 runs over their last five games. Senga’s floor is a bit lower than you’d like, but if he shows up with his good stuff, he could dominate — while the Mets are too inconsistent to trust with a number this high.
Pick: Under 9.5
There’s a chance that Senga just doesn’t have it on Tuesday, but he’s a far better pitcher than Davies — and at relatively even odds, I’m still sticking with the team that’s got the most talent on the mound and at the plate. For all the dysfunction in New York right now, that’s still the Mets, who could really use a boost as they head into the All-Star break.