Mets Dodgers Pick – NLDS Game Two

We had a nice day yesterday, cashing a pair of winners including a massive underdog payday with Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets. It feels like the story today is once again the failures of Clayton Kershaw in the postseason, but the story really should be the flourishing of deGrom on a massive stage under massive pressure. The second-year pro was simply dominating, striking out 13 batters over seven shut out innings. There is a lot of randomness in postseason baseball (and baseball in general, where as I’ve said many times, the best teams win 100, the worst teams lost 100 and it’s only about 20% that separates all the remaining records). But one way to lessen the randomness is to miss bats – the Mets pitching staff is excellent at that, and it puts a TON of pressure on Greinke tonight to avoid a disastrous 0-2 hole with their two aces, their “Drysdale and Koufax” losing a pair of home starts.

SO can Greinke be huge when they need him most? Or will another young power arm, Noah Syndergaard, pitch the Mets to a ‘Mazing Mets postseason start?

Let’s see if we can build on a yesterday’s big day with another winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

New York Mets +182 at Los Angeles Dodgers -191 (Total: 5.5)

Noah Syndergaard vs. Zack Greinke

Fade me once, good for you. Fade me twice? Ok, I don’t have a good rhyme for that one, but I do know not too many people have gotten rich fading Kershaw and Greinke back to back. We stole nearly double-money last night – but more than “fading” Kershaw, it was affording the appropriate respect to deGrom. I was rewarded with a handsome payout. So, with that same mindset, rather than “fading” Greinke, is Noah Syndergaard due the same incredulity at being handing nearly 2:1 odds to win a single baseball game??

The value is certainly on the Mets and Noah, but it isn’t nearly the incredible value last night was. Playoff Kershaw and Jacob deGrom was a pretty even matchup – that makes 2:1 odds too good pass up. Zack Greinke is clearly better at this point in his career than is Syndergaard. The line tonight, while slightly inflated, is much more warranted.

How good was Zack Greinke this season? Let’s put it simply. He deserves the Cy Young award in the same universe that Jake Arrieta exists in. ‘Nuff said. He has been better than Jake. He finished the season just as strong as he pitched throughout the season. He posted a 2-0 record with a 2.12 ERA, slightly above his 1.66 ERA for the season, but still fantastic. Most importantly, his team is 23-9 with him on the mound. They win when he pitches, and the Dodgers have never needed a win more desperately than they do tonight.

But it will be tough. Syndergaard misses bats with ridiculously high frequency. In his last three starts, he has fanned a staggering 29 batters while walking just one. Again, power arms fare well in the postseason traditionally, and Syndergaard fits that definition perfectly.  29:1 is a ridiculous split, and could bode well for another tough night for the free-swinging Dodger lineup.

I am not willing to bet against Greinke, though I admit the value is on the Mets once again. I am instead going to bet on BOTH pitchers delivering, possibly even a shutout from Greinke who will be asked to give them eight innings if at all possible to avoid the early bullpen. If he can give them eight, I like a game in the 2-1, 2-0 range. The under is super slim at 5.5, but I’ll take the total to tuck JUST under it.

Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 5.5