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Everyone and their grandmother in New York are going to be betting the Mets with Jacob deGrom on the hill. But, I’m fading the public and BETTING the ATLANTA BRAVES (+112) at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The New York Mets (76-42) close out a 4-game series Thursday with the NL East rival Atlanta Braves (72-47) at Citi Field Thursday. Atlanta clobbered N.Y. by a combined score of 18-1 in the 1st two games before the Mets won the 3rd meeting 9-7 Wednesday.
Both teams send out their ace and come into Thursday’s matchup red-hot. N.Y. is 7-3 overall over the last 10 games and Atlanta is 8-2 in the last 10. deGrom (2-0, 1.62 ERA) takes the hill for the Mets. Max Fried (10-4, 2.60 ERA) is on the bump for the Braves.
I’m jumping at the chance to back the Braves as home underdogs with Fried starting. This is only the 5th time in Fried’s career he’s been a home underdog; the Braves are 4-1 SU in those contests. One of those games was against the Mets with deGrom as the starter but that was back in 2018.
Either way, people sleep on Fried. The 28-year-old lefty is already an All-Star and World Series champion and leads MLB in home runs allowed per 9. Fried is 48-17 since becoming a full-time major leaguer in 2019 with a sub-3.00 ERA in 2 of his last 3 seasons.
And while deGrom is baseball’s best starter when healthy, deGrom is still finding his groove post-injury. This will be deGrom’s 4th start this season and he hasn’t pitched past the 6th inning yet.
The Mets could have deGrom on a pitch count or innings limit and Atlanta’s lineup would much rather face N.Y.’s bullpen. Furthermore, I give Atlanta’s bullpen the edge over N.Y. The Braves relievers rank higher in WAR, ERA, FIP, K/BB rate and home runs allowed per 9 than the Mets, per FanGraphs.
The Braves are more productive at the plate recently and the Mets are a tad mediocre vs. left-handed pitching. Atlanta’s lineup has a better wRC+, wOBA, hard-hit rate and barrel rate than N.Y. in the last 14 days (FanGraphs). Also, the Mets score a run less per 9 vs. lefties and ranks 16th in wOBA, according to FanGraphs.
Mets-Braves is one of the few MLB regular season games taking heavy public betting action. Most recreational bettors don’t give a shit about baseball. But, sports betting is now legal in N.Y. and deGrom and the Mets are public darlings.
In fact, nearly 90% of the money bet is on the Mets, according to Pregame.com. However, the line has only increased 8 cents on the dollar from the opener despite the lopsided action and N.Y. MoneyLine was suspiciously low in the first place.
I’ll happily fade the public with Fried at home and BET the ATLANTA BRAVES (+112) at FanDuel Sportsbook.
- A $100 wager on the Atlanta Braves (+112) vs. the Mets returns a $112 profit.
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