While the New York Mets have struggled, they still have some value for your Tuesday MLB picks when they visit the San Francisco Giants.
New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 – 9:45 PM ET at Oracle Park
Let’s welcome the New York Mets back to Earth. After loading up on talent during the offseason, the Mets were a fashionable MLB pick for the 2021 World Series – and they continued to rake in the action after leading the National League East for most of the early season. But anyone who knows baseball knows this team was due for a fall. And so it came to pass; at press time, the Mets are third in the East at 59-58, dropping 9.96 betting units along the way.
So why am I recommending New York for Tuesday’s road game versus the San Francisco Giants (76-42, plus-26.35 units)? Because they have value as +135 underdogs on the MLB lines at Casears Sportsbook. It’s only a smidge of value, but at this price, the Mets are worth a small wager against the team with the best record in the majors.
You may recall that last week in this space, we faded the Boston Red Sox (–120 at home on the closing line) in their matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays, based on the wide gap between Boston’s Pythagorean record – their expected won-loss record based on run differential – and their actual won-loss record. Final score: Rays 8, Red Sox 4.
It’s easy enough to poke holes in the Mets using the same method. Their minus-25 run differential works out to a Pythagorean record of 55-62, still four games better than New York’s actual record despite their recent three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, in this particular matchup, the Mets should have the advantage on the mound with Marcus Stroman (3.45 FIP), their best remaining starter now that Jacob deGrom (1.25 FIP) is on the 10-day IL.
It’s a small advantage, mind you. The Giants will respond with Logan Webb (3.23 FIP), whose overall profile looks a bit better than Stroman’s – especially versus the MLB odds, where Webb has compiled 7.79 units in earnings on a team record of 12-4. That’s a mountain of money compared to Stroman, who’s down 3.73 units on a team record of 10-13.
This isn’t just about Stroman and Webb, though. The bullpens are likely to get involved at some point, and the Mets have the better relievers of the two combatants. Plus, while New York’s hitting leaves something to be desired, they’ve enjoyed better results at shortstop from Jonathan Villar (.745 OPS) than they’ve gotten from their marquee offseason signing, Francisco Lindor (.702 OPS), who’s on the injured list with a strained oblique. Even better, J.D. Davis (.877 OPS) has rediscovered the form he had during his breakout 2019 campaign. It’s not pretty, but it’s enough to make the Mets the right call at these odds.
MLB Pick: Mets +135 at Caesars