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Mets at Dodgers – Free Pick for July 1st

New York Mets +140 at Los Angeles Dodgers -149 (Total: 6.5)

Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.74 ERA)

The Mets will make an appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week for the second straight weekend, but this time they are hoping for a better result than R.A. Dickey’s shutout inning streak ending loss suffered last week against the crosstown rival Yankees.  They were swept in that series, but have rebounded to win four straight and will be looking to complete a sweep of their own against the Dodgers.

For Los Angeles, the nightmare that began in San Francisco, being shutout in all three games of an (obviously) three-game sweep, their bats have continued to slumber against the Mets.  They have been shutout again in their last two games, and if not for a 3-2 loss in the series opener, they would be looking at FIVE consecutive games without scoring a SINGLE RUN.  I’d have to consult the Elias Sports Bureau on this one, but I am not sure being shutout in five consecutive games has happened too often in the modern era of baseball.

So can their bats wake up tonight??Dillon Gee has to be salivating at the chance to face this slumping lineup on national TV, but likewise the Dodgers should feel good about their chances to break out of their funk against a pitcher with very middling statistics (as well as stuff).  Gee is just 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA (oddly the EXACT same as his season ERA) over his past three outings.

And Los Angeles has to like their chances with their ace and defending Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw on the bump.  Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA in his five lifetime starts against the Mets.   That’s exactly who you want to hand the ball to when your club is trying to snap a free-fall that saw them go from the best record in baseball to second place in their own division in less than three weeks.

However… Kershaw has only one win in his last seven starts and has a rather ordinary 3-3 record at home on the season.  His 2.71 ERA is certainly solid, but it is about 2.71 runs more than his hapless teammates score these days.  The Dodgers are purportedly close to a trade to land Carlos Lee from the Houston Astros to inject some life into their punchless lineup, but he won’t be there TONIGHT, and that’s the game we are breaking down.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dodgers scratch out a few runs and get a star-worthy performance out of Kershaw tonight, especially given how desperately they need it.  However, laying -150 on a team whose starter has won ONE game in the last month and has scored exactly TWO run in SIX GAMES seems a bit assumptive to me.  It’s hard to not like the value of the Mets at +140 tonight.

That’s what baseball betting is all about; finding the best VALUE line each night and taking the mathematical probabilities when they fall in your favor.   I think that is just the case with the Mets tonight, and that’s my official pick to win tonight’s contest.

Free Pick:  New York Mets to WIN +140