NL Wild Card Game 2 Picks and Predictions: Take the Padres and Phillies on the Moneyline

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Blake Snell #4 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the sixth inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

The top sportsbooks have released the betting odds for today’s baseball action, and both NL games –the Padres play the Mets and Philadelphia plays St. Louis– interest me as worth investing in.

The Padres lead the Mets 1-0 while the Phillies lead St. Louis 1-0.

For reasons that I will explain, you should play the moneyline for both games at your preferred online sports betting site.


San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets

Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 07:37 PM EDT at Citi Field

Who Starts for San Diego?

Blake Snell starts for the Padres tonight. While Snell has been horribly unprofitable for bettors to back this season, this fact is primarily a reflection of his first eight starts of his season.

The Padres lost all of those eight games in which he started, but that is ancient history.

Most recently, San Diego is 3-1 in the last four games in which he started.

Moreover, the Padres beat the last two playoff teams –the Dodgers and Cardinals– against which Snell started.

Snell's Current Form

San Diego is easily able to win games where Snell starts because of his superb pitching form.

Snell has allowed a combined total of one run in his past three starts and two runs in his last four starts.

During this most recent stretch of play, he dominated the best, eighth-best, and ninth-best lefty-hitting lineups.

Mets vs. Left-Handed Pitching

His ability to thrive against the best lefty-hitting lineups forms an obvious source of confidence in him in view of the fact that New York ranks a mediocre 15th in slugging against left-handed pitchers.

Given this mediocrity, the Mets have been a poor choice to invest in when they face a left-handed pitcher. Whereas they are yielding +12.5 units for their backers when facing a right-handed pitcher, they yield -3.3 units when facing a left-handed pitcher.

Profitable overall, the Mets' disadvantage today is underscored by the unique influence that opposing left-handed pitchers exercise on their betting numbers.

What is consistent with this general betting tendency and specific to this game is the fact that, throughout his career, San Diego's southpaw has loved facing the Mets. In his career, he enjoys a 2.73 career ERA against the Mets.

Who Starts for the Mets?

New York starts Jacob deGrom today, the team's least profitable pitcher to back as, overall, the Mets yield -8.5 units in his starts.

deGrom's poor current form reinforces the confidence that one should have in Snell.

Whereas Snell is constantly locking down even high-caliber opposing lineups, deGrom has allowed three runs or more in four straight games despite two of those opponents ranking bottom five and the third-ranking ninth-to-last in runs per game.

Tellingly, deGrom's FIP was over 5.90 in both of his last starts.

For your MLB Picks, expect San Diego's pitching advantage to facilitate their upset victory.

MLB Pick: Padres ML (+166) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday, October 08, 2022 - 08:37 PM EDT at Busch Stadium

Who Starts for Philadelphia?

Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies today. Nola enters today's game having allowed one run or zero runs in four of his last six starts.

He reliably endures at least six innings, which is crucial in view of the relative weakness of Philadelphia's bullpen.

Nola's ability to limit opposing scoring while lasting at least six innings has persisted despite the quality of his competition.

His recent victims include the championship-caliber Astros and Braves.

Nola vs. Cardinal Batters

Today's Philadelphia starter has no reason to fear St. Louis' best hitters.

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado form the heart of the order for the Cardinals, but they have awful track records against Nola.

Goldschmidt is 3-for-20 with eight strikeouts with Nola on the mound. Similarly, Arenado is 3-for-15 against Nola.

Who Starts for St. Louis?

Miles Mikolas starts for the Cardinals today. While Mikolas thrived against the Phillies on July 11, he was fortunate to catch them in the midst of a scoring slump.

In his previous start against them, on July 1, he had yielded a 6.30 FIP.

Mikolas vs. Philly Batters

Philly batters merit optimism tonight for ranking seventh in slugging against Mikolas' four favorite pitches –fastball, slider, sinker, curveball– from righties.

Look out, especially, for Nick Castellanos, Bryce Harper, and Rhys Hoskins, as all three batters slug well over .600 in at least eight at-bats against Mikolas.

Bullpen Bonanza

Before this series began, St. Louis' pitching advantage was formed by its bullpen, but thanks to idiotic management, the Cardinals' best relievers are worn down.

After prematurely pulling Jose Quintana, the Cardinal manager wore out Ryan Helsley before having Giovanny Gallegos throw 19 pitches.

Based on who else they had warm up yesterday, it looks like the Cardinals will rely on walk-machine Jack Flaherty.

If you also wish to play the total for this game, the "over" is the way to go because the Phillies will score their share of runs off Mikolas and Cardinal relievers, while the Cards can ensure that the game goes "over" by adding a couple runs off Philly relievers when Nola finally leaves the game.

MLB Pick: Phillies ML (-113) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.