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Game 2: New York Mets (67-60) vs. Atlanta Braves (77-52)
New York Mets: 4.4 Runs, -190 ML, Atlanta Braves: 3.1 Runs, +164 ML
The New York Mets have not been this big of a favorite against the Atlanta Braves in more than 15 months and more than 28 match ups between these NL East Rivals. So why do I still like today them despite the big number? Two things: starting pitching & home field advantage.
Why Take the Mets
Today’s Mets starter, Jacob deGrom, has been the best pitcher in the MLB over the past two seasons. The reigning NL Cy Young winner has been even better lately – while his team has finally heated up behind him. deGrom is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in seven starts since the All Star break. In 20 career starts against the Braves, the right-handed Floridian sports a 2.00 ERA and a 1.005 WHIP.
Conversely, the Braves send out one of their most unproven pitchers in Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz (4-5, 6.09 ERA) had been demoted back to the minors as recently as this June. In three starts since returning to the bigs, Foltynewicz has improved, but not by much, giving up 9 earned runs in 16 innings since he’s been back.
While the Braves have been a good road team, the Mets have been on a tear at home, winning 14 of their last 16 contests in Queens. At 37-21 the Mets have the 5th best home record in the MLB for the season. And since the All Star break the Mets have the best home record in the MLB at 27-10.
One catalyst for their second half surge might be something that looked like the end of their competitive season at the time.
After manager Nick Calloway was fined for yelling at a reporter on June 23rd, the Mets promptly lost their next six games. Since that slide, however, the Mets have raddled of 30 wins in 43 games. Once the dust settled, the team responded to the passion of their skipper.
Why Take the First 5 Innings Moneyline
Starting pitching advantage. While I like the Mets to win the game, the principle reason I’m willing to lay a big number is because of Jacob deGrom’s superiority to Mike Foltynewicz. In sports betting we strive to maximize our edge in any given game. We do so here by eliminating the second half of the game.
The Braves score the 2nd most runs in the MLB in the last four innings of games (2.47), only behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Currently on FanDuel the Mets are -190 to win the game and -188 to win the First 5 innings. So we do not have to pay a cent of premium to avoid all of the Braves second half firepower. Additionally, we maximize the amount of innings we have deGrom going up against Foltynewicz – for free.
I prefer the moneyline over the F5 run-line because of the likelihood this game could be very low scoring and tied at the end of five. With a total at 7.5, we very well might see a 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2 game by the time we reach the 6th inning. By taking the moneyline we insure a push in the event of tie, well the worth the extra 50 cents of vigorish here.
Angle: Take the Mets -188 Over the First 5 Innings.