Mets vs. Padres prediction and odds for Friday, July 7 (Verlander rounding into form?)

Justin Verlander has been pitching well as of late, but can he lead the Mets to a sixth straight win?
New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35).
New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35). / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Before the 2023 season, if you told New York Mets and San Diego Padres fans that they’d be in fourth place in their respective divisions the weekend before the All-Star break, they’d probably be shocked. 

However, that’s where we are for these two squads – even though they enter this series on winning steaks. 

New York has won five straight games while the Padres have won three heading into Friday night’s matchup. 

Justin Verlander (3-4, 3.66 ERA) gets the ball for the Mets in this game against San Diego’s Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.84 ERA). 

Normally this would be a battle of two aces, but neither pitcher has looked as great as we’d expect this season. 

Here’s how to wager on this game, as well as the latest odds: 

Mets vs. Padres odds, run line and total

Mets vs. Padres prediction and pick

After a slow start to the 2023 season, Verlander seems to be finding something over his last two starts. 

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed just one run (zero earned runs) over his last 12 innings of work, leading the Mets to a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants in his last outing. 

New York’s offense has not been good all season (15th in OPS, 14th in runs scored), but it also hasn’t been one of the worst in the league. That being said, Verlander has received more than four runs of support just once since the start of June. 

Despite that, I still like the Mets to win this game as underdogs with their ace on the mound. 

Darvish (4.84 ERA, 3.88 FIP) has not been lights out this season, and he really struggled in four June starts, allowing 14 earned runs in 23.1 innings of work. 

The Padres are just 6-8 in his 14 starts this season, and I wonder if San Diego’s offense (19th in runs scored, 16th in OPS) will be able to get to Verlander. 

This is a pretty even matchup, but I’ll side with the hotter starter at plus money on Friday night. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.