Usually the sight of Noah Syndergaard on the mound spells bad news for the opposition, and the New York Mets’ hard-throwing right-hander starts Sunday night’s home game against the Miami Marlins looking to extend his domination. Syndergaard has not lost to New York’s National League East rival in three career starts, allowing just four runs while striking out 29 hitters with only two walks.
The Mets need a big outing from their ace after the Marlins battered New York pitching for the second night in a row in Saturday’s 8-1 victory, a game in which New York had to use six relievers. Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-6 with a run scored and two RBIs from the leadoff spot to boost his average to .556. Realmuto has multi-hit performances in all four games he has played this season. Center fielder Marcel Ozuna is 5-for-8 in the series with three RBIs and slugged his first homer of the season Saturday to raise his average to .429.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: “Thor” and the Mets opened as -175 favorites at home but by Sunday afternoon that number was up to -185. The total hit the board at 7 and has yet to see any movement off the original number. View complete line history here.
Marlins – 3B M. Prado (Mid April, hamstring), RP J. Locke (Out Indefinitely, bicep), RP O. Despaigne (Mid April, oblique).
Mets – RP J. Familia (Elig April 20, suspension), DF J. Lagares (Mid April, oblique), SP S. Lugo (Out Indefinitely, elbow), SP S. Matz (Early May, elbow), 3B D. Wright (Out Indefinitely, shoulder), CF B. Nimmo (Out Indefinitely, hamstring).
WEATHER REPORT: The forecast for Sunday night at Citi Field is calling for clear skies and cool temperatures. It is expected to be a beautiful spring day in the New York area but by 8:00 ET first pitch temperatures will be down in the low-50’s with a 10 mph wind blowing out to left field.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Edinson Volquez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (0-0, 0.00)
Volquez pitched well in his Marlins debut on opening day Monday, striking out six while scattering four hits in five shutout innings at Washington. The 33-year-old threw 51 of his 82 pitches for strikes in facing four above the minimum through five innings. Volquez gave up two hits in six shutout innings to win his only start against New York last season, and is 3-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 10 career starts against the Mets.
One of the preseason favorites for the NL Cy Young Award, Syndergaard got off to a great start on opening day Monday against Atlanta, striking out seven with no walks in six shutout innings. He left the game with a blister on his right middle finger, and the Mets slid him back one day to Sunday as a precaution. Syndergaard has walked just four hitters in five career April starts, going 2-0 with 45 strikeouts.
* Marlins are 2-9 in their last 11 when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game.
* Mets are 10-2 in their last 12 Sunday games.
* Mets are 0-4 in Syndergaard’s last 4 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 4-1 in Marlins last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Under is 7-0 in Mets last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 8-0 in Syndergaard’s last 8 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Click here for a complete list of betting trends for this matchup.
1. Miami OF Ichiro Suzuki collected a pinch-hit single Saturday, his first hit of the season and the 3,031st of his career.
2. New York 2B Neil Walker struck out a career-high four times Saturday and is hitting just .150 on the season.
3. Miami RF Giancarlo Stanton finished 3-for-4 with three singles and a RBI Saturday and has at least one hit in his past five games at Citi Field.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Early consensus on this matchup has 81 percent of the wagers on the home favorite New York Mets and Over is picking up 54 percent of the totals selections. View full consensus data here.