Table of Contents
Game 2: New York Mets (65-60) vs. Cleveland Indians (74-52)
New York Mets: 5.3 Runs, -148 ML, Cleveland Indians: 4.0 Runs, +130 ML
Why Take the Mets
New acquisition, Marcus Stroman has had a rocky start to his Mets career, even as the Mets have won each of his first three outings.
Stroman has a 5.1 ERA with the Mets, and has only lasted an average of 5 innings with the team. Previously, Stroman had averaged 6.1 innings per game over his last 10 with the Blue Jays. His strike percentage had been over 62% for the season when he was traded and is slightly under 59% with the Mets. In his first outing the native New Yorker allowed 2 walks. In his second, he allowed three. And in his third, four.
His performances have been close enough to his season average to chalk up these below average numbers to simple variance. However, watching him work for most of these games, I think part of it was that he was trying to do much. With every pitch he seemed to triangulate a a strikeout, rather putting the ball in play.
Stroman has shown coolness digging his way out of several jams against scary lineups like the Braves and the Nationals. It must have felt good to register wins in those games, even if other players had more to do with the results. I think now that he has his feet wet as a Met he can get back to his top form.
Conversely, the Indians hand the ball to Adam Plutko, who has been as average as his name sounds like Pluto. Pluto (5-3, 4.67 ERA) looks considerably more vulnerable when looking at his considerably higher FIP of 6.09. He is also trending in the wrong direction recently, giving up a .839 OPS to opposing batters during the month of August.
Why Take the First 5 Innings Run Line
The saving grace for the Indians all year has been there #1 ranked bullpen. Even after the group was blown up in the second half of the game last night, they have the lowest ERA of any bullpen in baseball. It’s easy enough just to cut them out of our bet. Especially because starting pitching is the major part of my handicap, I see no need to challenge the best part of the opposing team’s roster.
That leaves us to consider taking the Mets on the First 5 innings run line (-0.5) or moneyline (-162). Lines from FanDuel Sportsbook.
I prefer the run-line. Offense is of course up across the entire league and 60 cents seems like a high price to pay in a game that should have a few runs scored by the time we get to the 5th. Both of these teams are top 10 in OPS since the All-Star break. The total for the game – 9.5 with juice on the under – implies there will be enough runs in this game where a tie after 5 innings is less likely. The Mets could be down by the end of 5, but I don’t think the chance of a tie is high enough to warrant the insurance of taking the moneyline.
Angle: Take the Mets -.5 (-110) Over the First 5 Innings.