This season is really getting me to loathe the ninth inning. I have been betting baseball for over a decade and can’t remember a season where I have lost so many games to blown saves in such a short period of time. That blown save bug bit us again last night when we backed the Arizona Diamondbacks against the New York Mets. The DBacks had the game in complete control as they held a 3-1 lead heading into the ninth inning.
Arizona turned to their closer Brad Boxberger to close out the game, and after holding the Mets to just five hits and one run through eight innings, he gave the game away, allowing four runs to score in the ninth. This is Boxberger’s second blown save in his last four opportunities after he started the season a perfect 11-11 in save opportunities. There is no more frustrating of a way to lose a bet than to have a lead entering the last frame, just to come up short, and this season has been full of late-inning heartbreak. What can you do, sometimes you get unlucky. The season is a long one, and this variance will always smooth itself out in the end. For today’s pick, I will look at the game between the New York Mets and the Colorado Rockies.
The New York Mets will head to Colorado Monday for game one of a four-game series with the Rockies. The Mets took two out of four games in their last series, winning the final two games, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and are looking to build on that success tonight in Colorado. For the Rockies, their struggles have continued as they have lost eight out of their last ten games. The Rockies took a devastating loss last night as they blew a huge lead late and lost 12-13 on the road against the Texas Rangers.
Starting tonight for the Rockies is Tyler Anderson (4-1 4.48 ERA), and for the Mets, it is Jacob deGrom (4-2 1.55 ERA). The Mets are -123 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
The Colorado Rockies are reeling right now. They have lost three straight series, including their last one to a bad Texas Rangers team. Colorado was in first place in the National League West not long ago, and they now find themselves buried five games back and in fourth place. They are much closer to the last-place San Diego Padres than they are to the first place Arizona Diamondbacks.
You would think coming home after an unsuccessful road trip would be just what the doctor ordered for Colorado, but they have been the worst home team in the National League this year. Their eleven home wins are the fewest in the league, tied with the Cincinnati Reds. And the Reds aren’t just a bad home team, they are a bad everywhere team. Something about playing at home just doesn’t work well for this Rockies team, and it is really hurting their playoff chances this season.
When you look at tonight’s starter for the Rockies, Tyler Anderson, he doesn’t like being at home either. Anderson is undefeated, at 3-0 on the road this season, with an ERA of 4.08 and opposing hitters are batting just .225 against him. At home? He is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.14 and allows opposing batters to smash him to the tune of a .296 batting average. The rarified air and high altitude of Coors Field clearly has a lot to do with those numbers, but Colorado must find ways to win at home if they want to be taken seriously in the NL pennant race.
The Mets will start their ace, Jacob deGrom tonight in game one. You can make a case for deGrom as the best pitcher in the National League this season. It really comes down to just him and the Nationals Max Scherzer. deGrom leads the NL in ERA at a blink, and you will miss is 1.55, and leads the National League in wins above replacement (WAR). His nearly twelve strikeouts per nine innings are second to just Mad Max. It is hard to overstate just how good deGrom has been this year.
The problem for deGrom is that this Mets team just aren’t scoring many runs or winning many games. Somehow the Mets have found a way to lose deGrom’s last five starts despite the fact that he has pitched forty-three innings, and has allowed just earned six runs. One would hope that the Mets can put a run or two on the board in homer-happy Colorado tonight to support deGrom.
This starting pitching matchup couldn’t be much more of a mismatch. deGrom has been lights out, and Anderson is really struggling at home. I think the Mets find a way to score a couple of runs in Colorado tonight to support him. Even bad teams can score at Coors Field. But for that thin air to really come into play, you have to be able to hit the ball, and I don’t see the Rockies doing much of that tonight. deGrom is making teams swing and miss at a near-historic pace for a starter, and if you can’t hit the ball, it doesn’t matter how far it carries.
deGrom is just pitching too well to keep losing so many starts, and I see the Mets snapping that streak tonight. One little extra detail to lean this in our favor is how each of these teams played last night. The Mets had a big come from behind win and should be riding high, and the Rockies scored twelve runs and collapsed late to lose, there could be a little hangover from that as well. Give me the New York Mets at -125 tonight in game one!