Yesterday's doubleheader against the Miami Marlins resulted in two shutout losses for the New York Mets, who need to pick up their offense on Wednesday as they linger near last place with a 12-16 record.
Following successive seven-inning defeats of 4-0 and 3-0, New York at least gets to send superstar ace Jacob deGrom to the mound tonight. Whether the offense can supply adequate run support is another matter.
Continue reading for the remainder of abe Insights' preview for this NL East clash, featuring the best odds available at publication, a breakdown of the big betting lines, key stats and more.
Date: Wednesday, August 26
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Florida; SportsNet NY
Implied Probabilities: Marlins 30%; Mets 71%
Spread: MIA +1.5 (-105); NYM -1.5 (+115)
Moneyline: MIA +235; NYM -250
No matter the circumstances, deGrom always give the Mets a chance to win. He hasn't pitched more than six innings in any of his five starts this year, but has a strong 2-0 record with a 1.93 ERA.
Elieser Hernandez will be on the bump for Miami, and he's easily having the most successful run of his young career. The third-year pro is 1-0 with a 2.29 ERA and 25 strikeouts in just 19.2 innings pitched.
5.43 vs. 4.09: In an absolutely stunning development, the Mets bullpen has experienced a rapid rise, ranking fifth in Expected Fielding Independent Pitching, which is the second number. Miami's relievers are far worse, with MLB's third-highest total in this category.
.342 vs. .307: New York also has the Marlins beat by a long shot in weighted on-base average, which comprehensively measures all the elements of hitting as best as any metric can. You wouldn't know this was the case based on the Mets' doubleheader performance.
9.6 vs. -0.5: Part of Miami's winning formula en route to a 14-11 record is its defense, which ranks third in Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games. Meanwhile, New York is a pedestrian 15th out of 30 teams in this statistic.
To springboard off that last stat matchup, defense was certainly the name of the Marlins' games on Wednesday when they posted back-to-back shutouts. Their offense is, in all likelihood, going to have its fair share of struggles facing deGrom, however.
In his last two starts, deGrom has actually faced this same Miami batting order. In the most recent of them, he allowed four hits and zero runs with seven strikeouts in six innings. That ultimately led to a 5-3 victory and capped off a three-game Mets sweep in Miami.
The Fish have to feel at least slightly cursed to be in deGrom's crosshairs for a third consecutive time. They've managed just two runs off him in 11 prior innings, and if he's on, which he usually is, deGrom is about the hardest pitcher in all of baseball to get a hit off of.
Hernandez is a little more predictable in that he relies almost exclusively on his fastball (60.1% usage) and slider (35.2%), with a rare changeup thrown in. That simplicity has been a formula for success, but as productive as the Mets have been on offense overall, they're more likely to tag Hernandez than the Marlins are to light up deGrom.
What's scary is deGrom is throwing harder than he ever has, with his heater averaging 99 mph on the radar gun. A nasty, 93-plus mph slider velocity gives deGrom a far superior primary pitching combo, and his changeup actually matches Hernandez's average fastball velocity in 2020. This is the kind of freaky stuff Miami is dealing with. Good luck, Marlins!
Between deGrom starting, the Mets' bullpen improvement and the club's dormant bats, all the elements are in place for a classic Under, which is where the majority of public bets should go despite the low number the teams are required to hit.
Having home-field advantage off a doubleheader may work in the hosts' favor, and with New York being the far more popular team and brand, action is destined to trend toward the Mets' spread. However, picking them to win outright — unless for, say, a first five innings prop — isn't worth it. That makes the Marlins' moneyline a strong hedge option.
Note: Odds current as of 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 26.
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