Mets, Padres meet in Wild Card Series finale

The first-ever weekend of the MLB wildcard series ends with just one Game 3: the San Diego Padres at the New York Mets.

The playoff field has been expanded to 12 teams for the 2022 postseason — four best-of-three series to determine which teams advance to the ALDS (vs. the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees) and NLDS (vs. the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles) will ascend Dodger).

Well, all but one of the wild card series ended in a sweep. The Cleveland Guardians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays and will face the Yankees in the next round. The Seattle Mariners defeated the Toronto Blue Jays and will face the Astros. And the Philadelphia Phillies will fight the Braves after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals.

Who will play the Dodgers? We’ll find out tonight.

Follow the action below with tee times, pitching matches, predictions and starting lineups as they are announced, followed by in-game updates and takeaways after the game is over.

More: Everything you need to know about the 2022 MLB Playoffs | Biggest postseason…ever? | Ace Ranking (ESPN+)| Bracket, results and more


San Diego Padres at the New York Mets (7:07 ET on ESPN)

Series draw 1-1

Appetizer of the Padres: Joe Musgrove (10-7, 184K, 2.93 ERA)

Met’s appetizer: Chris Bassitt (15-9, 167K, 3.42 ERA)

Starting lineups:





What to look out for: It all boils down to Bassitt vs. Musgrove for an opportunity to get into the NLDS and face the Los Angeles Dodgers. New York will need a strong start from Bassitt, but the bigger question will be which version of the Mets lineup will emerge Sunday against the Padres. In Game 1, they left eight runners on base and only managed a single run on an Eduardo Escobar solo home run ahead of Yu Darvish. The offense looked completely different in Game 2, with contributions up and down the lineup highlighted by home runs from Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. The Mets’ offense has been among the best in baseball all season but has struggled at key moments lately.

The Padres need a strong performance from Musgrove, who made a start against the Mets this season and allowed four runs in 5⅓ innings in an 8-5 loss. The bullpen will be just as important. After Blake Snell exited Game 2 after allowing two runs on six walks, five strikeouts and four hits in 3⅓ innings, the Padres’ bullpen couldn’t keep things tight after Nick Martinez served Alonso’s go-ahead home run and Adrian Morejon allowed a four score without recording an out. The Padres were ranked 14th in baseball in bullpen ERA, and star relief Josh Hader struggled on his arrival in San Diego at the close of trade with a 7.31 ERA in 16 innings. The Padres’ bullpen could be a major weak spot for Game 3, especially if the Mets’ at-bats persist from Game 2 for Game 3. – Joon Lee

Our expert tips

Lee: Recovering from his struggles during last Sunday’s pressured loss to the Atlanta Braves, Bassitt is coming through with a strong start — and Mets are squeaking enough power from the top of their lineup to go to the top in a tight game from the start Padres stop coming by. Mets 4, Padres 2

Bradford Doolittle: After the Padres split the Max Scherzer/Jacob deGrom starts, the pitching matchup advantage swings in their favor as Musgrove takes on Bassitt. More importantly, we saw the challenge Buck Showalter faced when he had to piece together high leverage outs on Saturday. That was while the Padres had Hader cool his heels and rest for Sunday. Padres 4, Mets 2

Alden Gonzales: Bassitt was made to perform in New York, made to thrive in moments like these. With everything at stake, he will ride a frenzied home crowd to a narrow win over Musgrove. Mets 3, Padres 1

Jeff Passan: In an all-hands-on-deck game, I go with the team that has the superior hands: New York. The Bassitt-Musgrove matchup is something of a wash leaving the bullpens. New York is a little better, although a fresh tussle vs. Edwin Diaz coming from 28 spots — the last time he played that many consecutive ranks was in June 2018 — is a bit scary for the Mets. In the end, their depth of deployment wins out. Mets 3, Padres 2 Mets, Padres meet in Wild Card Series finale

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