After yet another Pete Alonso hit-by-pitch led to benches clearing and some unkind words being exchanged, we could be in for fireworks when the Los Angeles Angels and New York Mets wrap up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Citi Field is set for 12:05 p.m. ET. L.A will send righty Griffin Canning to the mound to try and finish off a sweep, while the Mets counter with lefty David Peterson.
The Mets enter as -122 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with L.A. at +102. The run total is set at 9.
Angels-Mets picks: Sunday, August 27
Day to day: 1B Noah Schanuel (illness), Chase Silseth (head)
Out: OF Mike Trout (wrist), 1B CJ Cron (back), INF Gio Urshela (pelvis), SS Zach Neto (back), 3B Anthony Rendon (shin), SP Jose Suarez (shoulder), C Max Stassi (personal/hip), OF Taylor Ward (facial fracture), RP Ben Joyce (elbow), OF Jo Adell (oblique), C Matt Thaiss (shoulder)
Day to day: 1B Pete Alonso (head)
Out: OF Starling Marte (groin), 2B Luis Guillorme (calf), 3B Mark Vientos (wrist), RP John Curtiss (elbow), RP Elieser Hernandez (pectoral)
Griffin Canning vs. David Peterson
Shohei Ohtani’s heartbreaking UCL tear has left a gaping hole in L.A.’s rotation for the rest of the year, and while no one can fill those shoes, it does give Canning another shot to start to build on some promise he’s shown. The righty has been a bit up and down this season, but before landing on the IL with a calf injury he’d pitched pretty well, with a 3.90 ERA to go along with 76 strikeouts in just 62.1 innings since May 23. The results can be ugly when he doesn’t have the feel for his breaking stuff, but when Canning is right he has serious strikeout upside and deep arsenal to work with.
Speaking of second chances: Peterson was given one when the Mets traded away Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer at the trade deadline, but so far the results have been less than inspiring. The lefty has swing and miss stuff (71st-percentile whiff rate) but command remains an issue, as he’s walked a whopping 13 batters in just 15 innings across four starts so far this month. He got shelled by the Braves for four runs on seven hits and two walks in just 4.2 innings of work earlier this week, but he’d allowed just three earned runs in 10.1 innings prior to that.
We’ve seen totals of 4 and 8 in the first two games of this series, and I’m backing the under yet again on Sunday. Peterson hasn’t been great, but facing among the swing-happiest team in baseball — the Angels rank third in K rate this month and are dead-last in team OPS by a mile — should help him keep the free passes in check and avoid any big innings. New York has had the occasional offensive outburst of late, but overall they’re middling in most offensive categories of late, and I think Canning does enough for us to stay below this number.
Pick: Under 9
Neither of these teams are playing particularly inspiring baseball of late, but with some bad blood percolating after Alonso got plunked in the head last night — his league-leading 17th HBP, a sore spot among Mets coaches and players — I think New York gets a decent outing from Peterson and avoids a sweep. This one is just about a true coin flip, so give me the better odds.