We finally got off the schneid last night, as the New York Yankees blasted the Toronto Blue Jays to get a much-needed win. It had been a rough ride of countless bad beats and near-misses. We had two games where we took a -1.5 Run Line and saw our team win by one run, we got burned by a rookie pitcher dealing a gem on the road and the Nationals lost to Vance Worley – twice.
Yeah, it was a bad trip, but we got a win last night and will look to build a winning streak with a second win tonight.
A great way to do that is to back an elite arm and we get one with Jacob deGrom toeing the rubber at Citizens Bank Park. We actually get surprisingly solid value with the top ace on this slate taking it to the road in a hitter’s park, but it’s still a spot we’ll want to take advantage of. The New York Mets did lose some power after trading Jay Bruce out of town, but they should have plenty of juice left over to help push deGrom past Vincent Velasquez tonight.
The Mets look like the clear bet here, as they enter as solid favorites. The question is, do we take them straight up, attack their -1.5 Run Line (+110) or just go after the Total? Let’s take a closer look at this matchup to find out:
New York Mets (-150) @ Philadelphia Phillies (+130) Total: 8
Jacob deGrom (12-5, 3.36 ERA) vs. Vincent Velasquez (2-6, 4.82 ERA)
This one looks like a fairly easy call at first glance. Jacob deGrom is one of the best pitchers in baseball and he’s coming in riding quite the tear, having struck out 8+ batters in 4 of his last 5 outings. Playing for a shaky team has handed him two straight L’s in a row and he’s in a tough park, but we find it pretty easy to back him in this spot.
Philadelphia does have some pop and the park is dangerous, but deGrom has handled them with ease (2.08 ERA across 13 innings) so far in 2017. The Phillies don’t bring scary numbers to the table, either, as they rank 29th in power and just 16th in batting average when facing right-handed pitching. Make it an elite righty like deGrom, and you can say goodnight.
With deGrom’s arm cancelling out much of what the Phillies have to offer on offense in this matchup, your only remaining fear is the absence of Jay Bruce and whether or not the Mets can fire off on Vincent Velasquez.
Bruce is a big power bat to lose, but New York remains pretty potent and Velasquez is an arm that can easily be gotten to. The 25-year old righty is plenty talented and has some good swing-and-miss stuff, but he has his toughest times against lefties (.388 OBP) and hasn’t lit it up at home (1-4, 5.54 ERA). New York has some lefties and switch hitters that are sure to give him fits, and when we look at his low K rate of late, we’re likely in for more contact than he’d prefer.
Velasquez has actually done a solid job at limiting the hard contact lately and he’s actually in solid form (2 runs allowed across his last two starts), but control issues and a low K rate should spell trouble back at home against a capable Mets squad. Adding serious fuel to the fire is Velasquez’s performance this year against the Mets, which has yielded two dongs and 8 total runs across just 11 innings.
None of this sounds particularly great for Velasquez. It’s going to take a few long balls out of the Phillies and a borderline gem from Velasquez to turn this one upside down, and I’m just not seeing the logic here. Vegas agrees, so we can get some mild value as we safely attack the Mets at -150. I also don’t mind the Run Line if you’re extra ambitious tonight.