The New York Mets take on the Oakland Athletics. Check out our MLB odds series for our Mets Athletics prediction and pick.

Max Scherzer will take the bump for the Mets, while J.P. Sears starts for the Athletics.

Max Scherzer has had multiple injury-based interruptions to his 2022 season, but you will note that on the occasions when he has returned to the mound following an extended layoff, he has been very good. He shut down the Cincinnati Reds after a long injury layoff in the middle of the summer. Then he got hurt again. In his most recent return to the rotation following a health-based disruption to his season, Scherzer was vintage Max once again, this time against a much better team than the Reds. Scherzer went into Milwaukee — a hitter-friendly park — and shut out the Brewers in six innings of strong pitching. Scherzer, knowing that teammate Jacob deGrom was shockingly shelled on Saturday by Oakland hitters, knows this is a very important game for himself and his team. He usually answers the bell in big moments, and this qualifies as a big moment against one of the worst teams in baseball.

J.P. Sears had been roughed up in a few starts weeks ago, but he pitched really well in August after coming over from the New York Yankees in the trade which sent Frankie Montas to the Bronx. Sears pitched well with the Yankees and he began his Oakland career on a high note. Then he ran into trouble in multiple outings. Was he going to adjust and make course corrections, or would he continue to tumble and allow himself to be dragged down by the less-than-ideal situation he faced in Oakland? Sears offered a clear answer last week. He defeated Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners for the second time in a month. He beat Castillo in late August, and he beat him again last week, shutting down the Mariners in another demonstration of his quality. Sears is not an overpowering pitcher. He has to be precise with his location to thrive, and he certainly made the grade against Seattle. Now he faces a hungry and motivated Mets batting order after New York stepped on a rake on Saturday. It will be a challenge, but beating Castillo twice shows that Sears can defy the baseball betting odds on multiple occasions.

The Mets face the Athletics on Sunday. Our MLB odds series includes our Mets Athletics prediction, odds, and pick.

Here are the Mets-Athletics MLB lines, courtesy of FanDuel.

MLB Odds: Mets-Athletics Odds

New York Mets: -1.5 (-166)

Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (-124)

Over: 7 (+102)

Under: 11 (-118)

Why The Mets Could Cover the Spread

Max Scherzer pitching in a big game is the kind of situation in which it’s easy to bet on a specific pitcher and a specific team. The fact that the Mets played a terrible baseball game on Saturday, though, might be the best reason to take New York. It’s really hard to imagine the Mets playing two straight bad games against a markedly inferior team in the middle of a heated division race with the Atlanta Braves. This team has been too good for too long to stumble on a large scale, so close to the finish line.

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Why The Athletics Could Cover the Spread

J.P. Sears has beaten Luis Castillo twice over the past month, so if he can do that, he can certainly beat Max Scherzer. Also, if the A’s could hammer Jacob deGrom on Saturday, they can beat Mad Max on Sunday. The A’s aren’t a good team, but they certainly have had their moments. They split a four-game series against the Yankees earlier this summer. They have not backed down against New York baseball teams this year.

Final Mets-Athletics Prediction & Pick

Sears could certainly outpitch Scherzer, but the Mets’ bad game on Saturday makes this a good bounce-back spot for them on Sunday.

Final Mets-Athletics Prediction & Pick: Mets -1.5