Colorado Rockies (17-15) vs. New York Mets (17-12)
Where: Citi Field, NY
When: Friday, May 4th, 2018, 7:10PM EST
TV: DirecTV 639
by Kevin, Expert MLB Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Col +110/NYM -120
Starting Pitchers: German Marquez 5.46 ERA/1.57 WHIP vs. Zack Wheeler 4.09 ERA/1.31 WHIP
A tremendous amount of loot can be made fading teams who are stuck in the doldrums and riding teams who are hot. While this may seem simple, most fail to detect streaks and act on them.
The New York Mets started off like gangbusters this season. Not so much lately though, as the team has lost 4 of their last 5. More importantly to us, the NYM have been shutout in their previous 2 and scored two runs in those other two losses. It won’t get any easier for them today as they face a German Marquez, a pitcher who when away from Coors Field can miss some bats.
German Marquez vs. the Mets
Marquez would be a household name if he pitched anywhere other than Coors Field. At first glance, most will see his 5.14 ERA and get the wrong impression. A closer look shows that when out of thin air, the guy can be flat-nasty. In 17 road innings this season, the righty has allowed only 12 hits and three earned runs while fanning 16. He can get a bit wild at times, but his K rate allows for him to get out of jams. I also like that he’s pitching at Citi Field, which has typically been a pitcher’s park. (Ranked bottom 5 in runs in 2017).
Zack Wheeler vs. the Rockies
Wheeler was a big-time prospect (taken with the 6th pick in 2009 MLB draft) who has struggled to stay healthy. More importantly, his injury issues have been arm problems. Whenever we’re looking at a pitcher with arm issues, the first thing to look at is his walk rate. In 2013, Wheeler gave up 46 walks in 100 innings. That’s pretty terrible. In 2014, he gave up 79 in 185 innings. That’s better, but still not good. He missed all of 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he walked 40 in 86 innings. Terrible. This season, he’s walked 8 in 22 innings. A pitcher with control problems is a bettor’s dream as when that pitcher is down in the count, he’s forced to get more of the plate which increases the opposing hitter’s chances of smashing a ball. Pitcher’s with high walk rates generally allow more base runners which puts them in an uncomfortable position having runners on base which can lead to less focus on getting the hitter. Lastly, the pitcher loses confidence. Pitchers need to be mentally tough. When they’re not, they’re vulnerable to getting beat up. Wheeler is that pitcher.
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Wheeler’s 2018 numbers look decent with a 4.09 ERA, but that’s not all too impressive when you take into consideration 2 of his starts have come against the Marlins and Padres! Lastly, Wheeler has never been a guy who likes to pitch at Citi Field (a pitcher’s park) as evidenced by his high 4.88 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
Pitcher vs. Hitter Stats
Neither pitcher has seen much of their opponent. Marquez has faced Mets hitters 21 times and has only allowed a sleek .190 average. Cespedes is the only Met to go yard vs. Marquez. Cespedes has been swinging it well lately, so there is cause for concern here, but I’ll side fading a cold Mets team. If Marquez is smart, he’ll pitch around Cespedes.
Zach Wheeler has seen a bit more of the Rockies as he’s faced them for what is still a small sample at 34 plate appearances, where he allowed ten hits and four walks. These stats are a bit skewed as Ian Desmond consists of 19 of those PAs. Desmond took him yard once and has hit .294 against Wheeler. In summary, no real history here for the Rocks.
Summary and Pick
Underdog odds vs. a team who has lost 4 of 5 and shutout in their last 2, going up against an above average pitcher who can miss bats? Give me gimme! Colorado should also be fresh as they had an off day yesterday. I’m betting the Rockies +110.