Yankees at Mets – Free Pick June 24th

New York Yankees -125 at New York Mets +115 (Total: 6.5)

C.C. Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (11-1, 1.90 ERA)

ESPN execs must be doing backflips with the rare media excitement surrounding a regular season baseball game in June.  I am not sure I can recall a stranger and larger confluence of interest and curiosity surrounding a midseason game that didn’t involve a major league phenom making his debut (think: Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, etc.).  However tonight’s annual edition of the Subway Series has become appointment television, and it has NOTHING to do with the Yankees and their ace CC Sabathia on the mound.

The attraction tonight?  37-year old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, fresh off of consecutive one-hitters (only the ninth pitcher in MLB history to accomplish that feat) the baseball world is anxiously awaiting to see if he can continue his amazing run against arguably the most potent lineup in all of baseball.  Before you discount the one-hitters as simply oddity, consider that Dickey has the most wins and lowest ERA in all of baseball and has a staggering strikeout to walk ratio of nearly 5:1.  He leads the majors not only in wins and ERA, but also leads the league in WAR (3.5) and has a WHIP of just 0.89.

Those are daunting stats, but it isn’t like there is a scrub taking the mound for the Yanks.  Sabathia has not been completely dominant in 2012, but he has still been very good most nights.  He had some trouble with giving up homeruns in droves early in the season, but seems to have the problem under control.  He is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts and has been very sharp with his control.

I am going to do something I am usually want to do; join the hype circus and get on the Dickey train.  It’s nearly impossible not to root for the guy, but the stats he is compiling are indisputable.  He has 42 1/3 consecutive innings without an earned run allowed, and has a chance to clip Doc Gooden’s Met record tonight (49 innings).  The major league marks is Orel Hershiser’s 59 innings, but let’s not get too carried away quite yet.  For tonight, let’s just bank on the Yankees league worst .207 batting average with runners in scoring position and R.A. Dickey’s baffling knuckleball to keep the Yankees in check.

I’m actually really looking forward to this game tonight, win or lose it should be really compelling television.  Heck, it’s a chance to put a face with the name “R.A. Dickey” for most sports fans as well!

Give me the Mets tonight with a nice plus-money line.  It’s not every day you can get the clear-cut dominant starter in all of baseball and get a plus-money line to boot.  Take advantage of it.

Free Pick:  New York Mets to WIN +111