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Marlins vs. Mets Pick MLB – April 18th

 

We notched a dramatic winner last night with the Red Sox edging the Orioles 3-2. But the biggest news in the AL East was certainly the pair of “A-Bombs, From A-Rod” (google John Sterling’s famous radio call if you don’t get the reference) which led the Yankees to a 5-4 win over the streaking Tampa Bay Rays.   The Yankees aren’t very good so far this year, but it is fair to say they’d ben terrible if not for the contributions of the 40-year old shamed slugger. The Yankees may not want to pay him, but there is no doubt that through ten games A-Rod is earning his money in the Bronx. He is now hitting .321 with 4 HRs and has been the only offensive threat in the otherwise punchless lineup.

We will try to make yesterday a nice springboard for a big weekend and see if we can follow up yesterday’s winner with another one on Saturday.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Miami Marlins +130 at New York Mets -139 (Total: 7.5)

Mat Latos (0-2, 17.36 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (1-1, 1.46 ERA)

Would it be fair to say that Mat Latos’s homecoming to South Florida hasn’t been a happy one so far? It’d probably also be fair to say it hasn’t been the best 4.2 innings pitched for Mister Latos either. In fact, 4.2 innings pitched is a bad single start, but when it encompasses your first TWO starts of the season? Not a real good sign.

So is the Latos acquisition destined to be a complete disaster or is tonight the night things get turned around?

One thing that is evident in the first two starts of the season is that Mets reigning Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom was no fluke. He has posted a 1.46 ERA through his first two starts, striking out nine while walking three in 12.1 innings pitched. The Mets have soared as a result. With deGrom, Harvey and the rest of the starting pitchers propelling them to an 8-3 start and the top of the National League. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up now that David Wright is (once again) on the Disabled Llist.

My gut instinct tells me that the Mets offense is due for a little regression to the mean, especially with Wright out of the lineup. It also tells me that Latos’s regression to the mean is coming in a major way – like a seven-inning one-run type of effort. Maybe it won’t be tonight, but it’s hard to assume he has suddenly turned in to one of the worst pitchers on the planet. The Marlins and Latos both say he is healthy and he has a 2.63 career ERA versus the Mets.

The Mets are hot, so I can see why one would like them at -139. However, I try to stay off major faves for the sake of the column, plus I think Latos is due for a decent outing. Perhaps getting on the road and away from home will be a nice way for him to settle into the season. He has been one of the more reliable pitchers in MLB for the last four seasons, so I’m willing to chalk the first two starts up to an anomaly.

I also like deGrom to keep dealing. This kid is legit and has the ability to string zeroes on the board any night. That leaves me loving the UNDER 7.5 tonight. The line jumps a bit with the struggles of Latos lately. Assuming he regresses to the inevitable mean, this could be a nice easy winner.

Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 7.5