For our American readers, I hope you had a fantastic Fourth yesterday and enjoyed some time with family, friends, and of course the Great American pastime; baseball. I took the day away, but am ready to get back to action and hopefully close out the unofficial first half of the season with a nice winning streak.
Hopefully you enjoyed your July 4th more than Logan Morrison. It is easy to understand LoMo’s frustration with the lack of respect afforded to players in the Tampa market, but going after Gary Sanchez by name was probably a poor move…You won’t win many media cycles by taking on one of the most exciting and popular young players on America’s most popular team, but the larger point Morrison was making isn’t a terrible one. His riff about MLB Network not even having his photo correct, instead having his name next to a teammate’s photo when talking about the league leaders in home runs is both funny and insulting (and terrifying for Rays management who hopes to attract free agents there at some point…)
Alas, we have more important things to worry about today than All Star and Home Run Derby slights, so let’s get to the grind and today’s featured pick.
Today’s MLB Pick:
New York Mets -109 vs. Washington Nationals -101 (Total: 8.5)
Jacob deGrom (8-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. Tanner Roarke (6-6, 5.27 ERA)
There’s no doubt that the last few series against Washington have been absolute soul-crushing disasters for the New York Mets. The Nats have a sweep in their sights today and a chance to push the Mets to a once unfathomable 12 ½ game deficit leading into the All Star Break.
However, when looking for value, I try not to get too swept up in the narrative of “hot team” or “cold team” and try to remember the variance in baseball is super slim. The lousy teams win sixty, the great teams lose sixty and there’s only 40 in the middle. Momentum is as good as the next day’s starting pitcher, and in this case, the Mets are throwing a pretty darn good one. deGrom has LOOKED like 2015 Jacob deGrom over his last four starts; the guy who fanned the side in the All Star Game in a record-setting ten pitches. On a completely unrelated side note, I went to the All Star Game in 2015, and was flying to Brazil the following morning and spent 15 minutes next to deGrom in the security line (his fiancée had a dog on a bag – nice couple – she and deGrom, not she and the dog, though it was fine as well…)
Anyhow – deGrom has been MONEY in his last four starts, allowing just three earned runs over 32 innings of work and striking out 31 batters. He has allowed only 14 base runners over his last 23 innings and has struck out 25 batters in that span – dominating stuff. He stymied the Nats two weeks ago, and I think he can do it again tonight.
Washington is playing great baseball and has one of the best lineups in the Bigs. It won’t be easy, but deGrom has been so excellent, I give him the edge. But the real value tonight is on BOTH pitchers. Tanner Roarke’s season stats aren’t great, but his career numbers against the Mets sure are. He enters tonight with a 6-2 record and a 2.61 ERA. That makes tonight’s total of 8.5 awfully ambitious, no matter HOW good the Nats lineup might be.
Today’s MLB Pick: RUN TOTAL UNDER 8.5