The New York Mets have been in all sorts of headlines lately with the MLB trade deadline looming. Over the weekend, New York made the surprising decision to acquire right-hander Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. A playoff appearance this season is unlikely for the Mets, but they decided to add Stroman with hopes of fortifying the rotation anyway.
Depending on what else they do before the deadline, New York could have a very strong starting staff moving forward. Jacob deGrom is the strongest member of said staff, and he’ll be taking the ball for the Mets on Wednesday night in Chicago, where they’ll square off against the White Sox. Chicago will counter with an All-Star of their own in ace Lucas Giolito.
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The Mets used extra-inning home runs from Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto to notch a 5-2 win over Chicago in the series opener on Monday night. The victory was the team’s fifth straight overall, and they have quietly leapfrogged the likes of the Padres, Reds, and Pirates in the Wild Card standings. There are still plenty of teams between New York and a postseason spot, but the Mets enter play Wednesday five games back of the second Wild Card position.
They may have dug themselves into too deep a hole, but at least they appear to be trending in the right direction. DeGrom’s ERA may not be as shiny as the 1.70 mark he put up last year during his Cy Young-winning campaign, but he has once again been stellar in 2019. The right-hander is 6-7 through 21 starts, but his 2.86 ERA is still outstanding, as is his 3.29 xFIP.
DeGrom owns a strikeout rate north of 31% on the year. He’s allowing a hard contact rate about 10% higher than last year’s mark, but it hasn’t really come back to haunt him. Tonight, he’ll be facing off against a White Sox lineup that has a ton of swings and misses in it. Chicago’s projected lineup has a collective 23.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which is one of the higher marks in the league. It’s also not the most threatening group, as their .153 combined ISO against righties is well below average as well.
White Sox’s Long Summer
The White Sox are a team in the midst of a rebuild, so it’s no surprise that they’ve struggled all year long. One of the bright spots has been Giolito, who has gone from a disaster to one of the better pitchers in the American League in the span of a year. He was once one of the more heralded pitching prospects in baseball, but it took him some time to figure things out.
Last season, the right-hander went 10-13 across 32 starts with a bloated 6.13 ERA. His 5.46 xFIP was better than his ERA, but not by much, and that xFIP was still downright bad in its own right. Giolito has already surpassed his win total from last season, while shaving his ERA to 3.52 and his xFIP to 3.97.
He made some adjustments in his delivery over the winter, and the results have been dramatic. Giolito has upped his strikeout rate from 16.1% a year ago to nearly 30% so far in 2019. He has cut his walk rate by about 3%, while he has given up 14 dingers after serving up 27 in 2018. Giolito has vastly improved by just about every statistical metric you can find, and the White Sox’ future is looking much brighter as a result.
Chicago is sitting in third place in the AL Central with a record of 46-58 on the year. They’re nowhere near a playoff spot, however, so they’re going to have to wait until next year at the earliest if they have legitimate contention in mind. In addition to Giolito, there are other interesting young pieces here including Yoan Moncada, Reynaldo Lopez, and Eloy Jimenez. It’s only a matter of time until Luis Robert, another massive prospect, gets the call as well.
For Mets vs White Sox, my decision is not exactly bold. I like the Mets here. They’ve been swinging the bats well of late, and they’ll have their ace on the hill tonight. Other than heading into the AL to face a DH instead of a pitcher, there’s no reason to believe the White Sox will be able to offer much resistance against deGrom. Picking against Giolito and the season he’s had isn’t all that fun, but I like the Mets to keep their momentum going tonight.
There isn’t a ton of value in taking deGrom and the Mets to win outright on the moneyline at -170, but I don’t mind taking the runline route here. Take New York to cover 1 ½ runs at -110 in Chicago tonight.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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