MLB picks: Best bets for Sunday’s Padres-Mets Wild Card Series Game 3

The 2022 Major League Baseball playoffs are upon us. That means many things to many people, but among a certain subset of sports fans, we now have a month-plus of playoff gambling considerations. We’ve had quite a profitable ride these last two postseasons, so let’s make it three straight in the black.

I’ve emerged from the other side of a grueling regular season over on SportsLine at +582 on the season. I was well over +1000 at one point and dipped down disturbingly close to even, but had a few late runs. It was a roller coaster, but in the end, a solidly positive season is a success. Game picks will continue to be for SportsLine subscribers.

Right here, we’ll be focusing on totals (over/unders) and player props. We’ve had a bad start, but we’re accountable and will continue keeping track. It’s -183 so far in going 3-5. It was a 1-3 first day and a 2-2 Saturday, so we’ll keep things moving in a positive direction.

There’s only one game Sunday, so it’s all Padres at Mets.

OVER 6.5 runs (-125)

The playoffs have thus far provided their fair share of low-scoring affairs, but this series has hit the over in both games, with each team putting up one seven-run effort. We’ve seen eight home runs, with the Padres providing five of them.

Both starters here are capable in Chris Bassitt (15-9, 3.42) of the Mets and Padres All-Star Joe Musgrove (10-7, 2.93), which is why we get a desirable total here. It doesn’t even have to be high-scoring, as something like 4-3 or 5-2 gets us a winner.

Bassitt is pretty inconsistent, too. He’ll throw some gems, but he also mixes in duds. One of which came against the Padres earlier this year, when he coughed up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. Musgrove, in his own right, had a bad outing against the Mets, allowing four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings at Citi Field on July 24.

Even if the starters throw well, I’m expecting both offenses to work them hard in the early innings and neither to make a run at a deep outing like Yu Darvish had in Game 1.

The Padres’ bullpen worked really hard in Game 2 and isn’t that good or deep. On the Mets’ end, Edwin Díaz threw 28 pitches and had to come out for a second inning of work after waiting through a long Mets rally in the dugout. Adam Ottavino threw 35 pitches and looked really shaky. They hardly trust anyone else.

I’m not saying we’re in for an offensive deluge. It’s possible both Bassitt and Musgrove deal. We don’t need one. I like a combined effort of at least seven runs.

I think we’ll see at least a decent number of runs, and here’s my pick for most likely to score. Lindor is swinging the bat well right now and coming off a two-hit game in which he homered to start the scoring. He doesn’t run as much as he used to, but he stole 16 bases this season and the Padres are brutal against the stolen base. They allowed 89 this season in 102 attempts, good for a league-worst 13 percent caught stealing. The Mets are 3 for 3 in steals thus far in the series.

Also, Lindor is 6-for-17 (.353) with a .389 on-base percentage and two homers against Musgrove in his career.

Josh Bell, UNDER 0.5 hits (+120)

Bell has gotten much better swings in the postseason, including that gargantuan opposite-field blast in Game 1 off Max Scherzer. He’s still only 2-for-8 in the series and he hit just .192 in the regular season after the Padres acquired him via trade. He went hitless in nine of his last 12 games. Since he’s gotten a hit in each of the first two games, I’m just playing the odds here.