We were able to pick up another win last night at a very attractive price as we backed the Chicago Cubs against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Depending on when you bet the Cubs you could have gotten them as small favorites or even small dogs as they closed out at +100. I locked in the bet at -106 and enjoyed a nearly juice free win. I felt that the DBacks starting Matt Andriese was essentially a white flag of surrender as the guy hadn’t started a game for the DBacks all season long and if Arizona were really intent on getting back into the race, they wouldn’t be starting a guy like Andriese.
And in the end, that is basically what happened. The DBacks just laid down in this one. I have been betting against Arizona hard for the last two weeks as this team looks to have given up and last night was no different. The Cubs ran Andriese from the game after blasting him for five runs in just two innings of work and things only got worse from there for the DBacks.
All told, the Cubs walked away with a 9-1 victory and basically ended the DBacks playoff hopes for this season. It was a disappointing end to what was once a very promising season for Arizona. With the win, the Cubs were able to pick up a game against the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central race as the Brewers came up short against the Cincinnati Reds. Chicago now has a three and a half game lead for the division title. For today’s pick, we will stay in the National League and take a look at the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.
The New York Mets are in Philadelphia Wednesday for the rubber match of a three-game series with the Phillies. The Mets took game one of the set, and the Phillies came back in game two to tie the series up at one game apiece. The Phillies are clinging to a playoff prayer as they trail the Atlanta Braves by five and a half games with just a dozen games left on the schedule. The Mets would love nothing more than to play spoiler to their division rivals in this one.
Starting for the Mets is Noah Syndergaard (12-3 3.26 ERA), and for the Phillies, it is Zach Eflin (10-7 4.26 ERA). The Mets are -116 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM PST from Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.
Noah Syndergaard never seems to quite get the credit he deserves. Maybe it is because he can’t seem to ever stay healthy for an entire season. Maybe it is because the Mets always suck. Maybe he is getting outshined a bit by his fellow Mets starter Jacob deGrom who is putting up historically good stats this year. Whatever the case may be, Thor just doesn’t get the love a pitcher of his stature deserves.
Thor missed over a month and a half of this season with an injury, but he has pitched very well when he has been on the mound. His 3.26 ERA, while higher than his sub-three run career ERA, is still more than respectable and he has more strikeouts than innings pitched. In his last start, he stared down baseball’s best lineup, the Boston Red Sox, and threw a three-hit seven-inning shutout. In September this kid is blazing hot as he is 3-0 in three starts with an ERA of 1.99. People may forget that Thor is still just twenty-six years old. The kid is young and only going to get better.
In early July, Zach Eflin looked like a guy that was going to be a breakout star for the Phillies. He had run his record up to 7-2 with an ERA of just 2.97, and his team was competing for a division title. But since then, both he and his team have really struggled. His ERA has ballooned up to over five runs in the second half of the season, and he is losing a lot of starts. In September, Efflin is 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA in three starts.
Eflin’s struggles have been very representative of the Phillies struggles, as when they needed to win the most, they have come up short. Efflin pitched against these Mets two weeks ago and got absolutely hammered to the tune of six runs in just three innings of work. In his three starts against the Mets this year, he has allowed thirteen earned runs in a combined fourteen and two-thirds of an inning.
The Phillies were a sexy dark horse pick to win the NL pennant not long ago. They had a great top of the rotation talent in Aaron Nola and Jake Arietta, and they were winning a lot of games. But the wheels have come off for the Phillies here in September as they have gone 5-11 and now would need a miracle to climb back into the playoff race with just a couple of weeks left in the season.
For the Mets, they have struggled all season long and have been out of contention most of the year but are actually playing a good brand of baseball down the stretch. The Mets are 11-6 this month, and that includes taking two out of three games against these Phillies earlier this month. So, I will back what I see as the significantly better starter, that is playing on the hotter team, and take the Mets. The Mets are 15-7 in games where Thor has started this season, and I expect them to get the job done tonight in Philly. Give me the New York Mets as small road favorites tonight in game three at -116!