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The MLB schedule the day after opening day is a little light. However, Friday night’s schedule will include an NL East clash between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins.
The Mets took the season opener on Thursday 5-3, putting some pressure on the Marlins to even up the four-game series on Friday night. The Marlins will send lefty Jesus Luzardo to the mound on Friday. Despite Miami going 4-14 in Luzardo’s 18 starts in 2022, the Marlins have high hopes for the southpaw. Over his last four starts of the 2022 campaign, Luzardo pitched at least six innings while giving up two runs or less.
During that stretch, he lowered his ERA from 3.81 to 3.32. On September 11 of last year, the Mets knocked him around for five runs over 3.1 innings, only for Luzardo to hold the Mets to just two runs on four hits over six innings on September 28. That should give the lefty some confidence about facing New York’s lineup.
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Of course, the Mets will do their best to stack the lineup with right-handed batters, including Pete Alonso and Starling Marte, who were both all-stars in 2022. Alonso and switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar have both homered against Luzardo in their careers.
Even New York’s left-handed hitters may not be easy outs. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil are a combined 6 for 13 in their careers against Luzardo.
Nimmo, the team’s leadoff hitter, has a double and a home run in just five at-bats against Luzardo in his career.
On the flip side, the Mets will send lefty David Peterson to the mound on Friday to give Miami a different look after facing Max Scherzer on Thursday.
In 19 starts and nine relief appearances last year, Peterson had plenty of ups and downs, ultimately finishing the year with a respectable 3.83 ERA. He wasn’t a lock to make the starting rotation but was close to perfect during spring training.
Peterson threw 12 Grapefruit League innings, allowing no hits on just one hit while striking out 13, albeit with eight walks. In 2022, he crossed paths with the Marlins four times, completing 18 innings while conceding five runs on 16 hits, so he had a good handle on Miami’s lineup.
The Marlins are hoping that new signing Jean Segura can help to jumpstart their offense on Friday. Miami’s new third baseman is 4 for 9 with a home run and a double in his career against Peterson.
However, outfielders Bryan De La Cruz, Avisail Garcia, and Jesus Sanchez are a combined 0 for 12 against Peterson, so the Marlins might not have much depth behind Segura, Jazz Chisholm, and Jorge Soler.
This game opened as a straight-up PK with both teams having a moneyline of -110 at DraftKings.
Early betting has made the Mets a slight favorite, which is the best way to learn right now. Both starting pitchers have the potential to put together a solid outing. But the Mets have a deeper lineup and a deeper bullpen, making them the safer pick in a toss-up.
With the over/under for this game listed at eight runs, it can be tempting to pick the over with two largely unproven starters taking the mound.
But with Peterson looking sharp during spring training and Luzardo coming on strong late last season, this could be a pitcher’s duel.
Keep in mind that pitchers tend to have the edge early in the season, which is why this game could stay below eight total runs.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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