San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets Preview and Pick – Mat Latos vs. Johan Santana – Line and Total

by Kevin of

There’s great supporting numbers for NY and Johan Santana to win this game, albeit by only a run.

Santana’s last outing was against this very same Padres team (at SD). He was crafty against them, allowing only 5 hits in 7 innings, while walking an “unsantanalike” 5 bases on balls. The Mets lost the game 1-5, but Santana didn’t have anything to do with that.

Looking deeper into the numbers, it’s nothing new for Johan to dominate in his outings vs. SD as he’s got some eye popping numbers against them including a 1.99 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and an opposing batting avg. of only .206 in 40.2 career innings.

Another thing that you gotta like is that Santana has only given up 3 freakin’ earned runs in his last 36.2 innings! Needless to say, dude has found his groove after getting blasted by the Phillies back on May 2nd for 10 earned runs over three and two thirds innings.

If those numbers aren’t good enough for ya, Santana is 4-1 at home this year with a respectable 2.79 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and with opponents only hitting .243 against him.


The one big crapper I notice about his recent hot streak is that the Mets as a team have gone 1-4 in his last 5 starts. Pretty odd considering his dominance. For whatever reasons, the Mets coaching staff only has the guy going 7 innings on average. Might be a good idea to let dude loose, it’s not like he’s faultering or anything!

More stats on Santana… Oddly enough, you would think that with him being a left that left handed hitters would struggle against him. It’s actually just the opposite. Lefties are hitting .264 against him while he’s been absolutely dominant vs. righties with a 1.09 whip and .216 batting average.

As far as pitcher vs. hitter stats go, no Padres hitters have had much success against Santana. Here’s a look at career numbers against him from Padres hitters that we might expect to see in tonight’s tilt:

David Eckstein 0-11 (he will likely bat leadoff so this is good stuff)
Adrian Gonzalez 4-13
Tony Gwynn Jr. 0-4
Scott Hairson 3-10
Chase Headley 3-7 (no dongs though)
Oscar Salazar 1-5
Matt Stairs 4-15

On the flip side of the coin, the Padres send young righty Mat Latos to the hill. This guy is one of the up and comer’s in the bigs this year. He’s still young though, so I’ll take my chances here despite his somewhat impressive numbers. Latos has only faced the Mets 1x in his career in which he 4 hit them over 6 innings. He’s been solid on the road this season with a 3.68 ERA and a nasty 0.93 whip. He’s allowed opponents a tiny .185 avg on the road as well. One might think that he’s got good overall numbers (3.26 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and .207 opponent ba) because of the fact that he pitches in a huge ballpark, but he’s got some sparkling numbers in some of his road starts including a game where he gave up only 1 hit over 9 innings and 2 hits over 8 innings. The opponents were the Giants and the Astros though, both at which time neither were playing very well. He’s also been the victim of poor run support (which is one of my angles tonight). In his last 10 starts, the Padres have only given him 2 runs or less to work with in SIX of those starts.

For what it’s worth, Latos has been less effective in night games vs. day games this year. In the 46.2 night game innings that he’s pitched, he’s got a 3.86 ERA. Not a huge factor, but you better believe that some guys do worse at night vs. the day and day vs. night. Again, not a huge factor, but one worth mentioning.

One final stat for you…Santana has only given up 1 homerun in 38.2 innings at home. Latos has given up 5 dongs in 36.2 IP. I believe this will be key tonight as the team that can put a round tripper on the board is very likely to win the game. My picks to click for those homers tonight are Jason Bay or Ike Davis.

I don’t anticipate this game being an easy one. In fact, runs will be at a premium and the final margin of victory is likely to be by one run. I believe the Padres “top of the order” will be ineffective tonight which will hamper their ability to set the table for the big boppers. I also believe the Mets will have more of a threat of a running game which is another plus for the Mets. Latos is real good, but Santana is better and that will be the difference tonight. Take the Mets to win in what should be a pitching clinic put on by both hurlers.