mets padres probable starters
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ first half of 2023 has been disappointing and not what anyone was expecting after running the payroll up to record levels. Do you know who else has struggled to live up to expectations the past few months, though? The San Diego Padres.

These two squads will face off in the final series before the All-Star break. It will be the second time these 2022 NL Wild Card Series opponents go head-to-head this year. New York took two of three at Citi Field back in April.

Here’s what the probable pitching matchups look like right now.

Friday at 9:40 p.m. ET: Justin Verlander vs. Yu Darvish

Justin Verlander just did something he hadn’t done in a while — put together two straight solid starts. He’s allowed one unearned run, 10 hits, and three walks to go along with 11 strikeouts over his last 12 innings. JV was on the injured list the last time New York and San Diego played one another, so this will be his first start against them since 2014.

Yu Darvish has allowed 14 earned runs over his last three starts, which spans 16.1 innings. The right-hander has typically had the Mets’ number during his career, but New York scored five runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts in 6.1 innings against him back in April.

Saturday at 10:10 p.m. ET: David Peterson vs. Blake Snell

David Peterson will finish out the first half with his third turn through the rotation since getting recalled from Triple-A. He’s allowed one run in 10 innings since his return but was pulled against the Giants on Sunday Night Baseball after four innings and 61 pitches. Peterson faced the Padres in April, allowing two runs on six hits, two walks, and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

Blake Snell’s year started out rough, but he’s more than righted the ship. His season-long ERA stands at 3.03 because he’s posted a 0.64 ERA over his last seven starts (42 innings). He’s produced five scoreless outings during this stretch. The Mets also roughed him up in April, scoring four runs (three earned) on six hits, five walks, and five strikeouts in five innings.

Sunday at 4:10 p.m. ET: Max Scherzer vs. TBD

Max Scherzer moved his start against the Diamondbacks up a day to give Kodai Senga extra rest, and for him to squeeze in one more start before the All-Star break. He got bit by the home run ball in the desert, allowing three dingers to Arizona. However, Scherzer did strike out eight-plus hitters for the fourth straight start. The veteran righty one-hit San Diego across five shutout innings in April.

The Padres haven’t yet announced a starter for the first-half finale. Once they do, we’ll update this article.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.