The Mets and Twins, who were a couple of popular sleeper picks to make playoff runs this season, will meet in Queens for the first game of a 2-game interleague series on Tuesday night. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom will take the mound for the home team, while Kyle Gibson will toe the rubber for the visitors.
The Mets dropped 2 of the 3 games during their opening homestand against the Nationals over the weekend, but New York has gotten off to a fine start overall. The Mets won 2 of 3 in Washington to begin the year before sweeping the lowly Marlins in Miami. The NL East is going to be one of the tougher divisions in the game all year, so the Mets are going to have to take care of beatable teams like Miami if they want to keep pace.
The Twins, meanwhile, were beaten twice in 3 games over the weekend in Philadelphia, but it’s generally been a positive 5-3 start overall for Minnesota.
The following odds are courtesy of our live odds feed:
2019 ATR Home
2019 ATR Away
2019 O/U Home
2019 O/U Away
The Mets might prove to be a fairly safe betting option at times this season thanks to the strength atop their pitching staff. Noah Syndergaard is one of the better starters in the game, but Jacob deGrom might be better than everyone else. Whenever either of them takes the mound, the Mets are very likely to be favored by Vegas.
DeGrom has picked up wins in each of his first 2 starts of 2019, which is a welcome change after he won just 10 games a season ago. The low win total wasn’t his fault, of course, considering he was the best pitcher in baseball last season. The Mets just didn’t give him much run support.
The right-hander has yet to allow a run through 13 innings of work against the Nationals and Marlins. He struck out 10 while allowing 5 hits on Opening Day before whiffing 14 Marlins and allowing just 3 hits in his most recent outing. He also hit a home run that day, for good measure.
Most believed deGrom would come back down to earth this season after posting a career-best 1.70 ERA last year, but that hasn’t been the case. He was slightly more hittable against lefties than righties last season, but a .254 wOBA allowed to lefties is hardly what you’d call “hittable.”
The Twins did add some firepower to the lineup this past offseason with the signings of Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez, but so far the results haven’t really been there. Minnesota ranks just 23rd in the league with 35 runs scored to this point, and they will be taking a substantial park downgrade tonight when they go into pitcher-friendly Citi Field.
It’s going to be tough sledding for the Twins tonight, all things considered.
Don’t Sleep on the Twins
Gibson was a much-improved pitcher last season, but his first start of 2019 left plenty to be desired. Gibson was tagged for 6 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits in just 4.2 innings of work against the Royals in Kansas City last time out. He struck out 2, but also walked 2. However, Minnesota managed to storm back and pick up a 7-6 victory.
Gibson posted a career-best 21.7 percent strikeout rate in 2018, though his 4.25 SIERA showed that there was a bit of luck involved in his low 3.62 ERA. Still, Gibson has been a decent pitcher for a few years now, so it’s safe to say the 5.07 ERA he posted in 2017 was not an indicator of his true talent level.
Gibson could run into trouble against the Mets’ left-handed hitters. The right-hander has allowed a career wOBA of .339 to lefties, and most of New York’s better hitters swing the bat from the left side of the plate. Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil could give him some fits in this spot.
However, as mentioned previously, Citi Field isn’t generally a favorable hitting environment. There were fewer runs scored in this ballpark than any other in the major leagues last season. I am thinking Gibson enjoys a bit of a bounce-back following his struggles in the opener against Kansas City.
We have arguably the best pitcher in the game on the mound for one team, and another generally decent pitcher going for the other. While I do think both the Mets and the Twins will be improved offensively this season, it’s not shaping up to be a game with a ton of runs crossing the plate. The Mets in particular also have a solid group of relievers backing deGrom up here.
6 ½ runs is a pretty low total to begin with, but there’s a reason for that. Gibson’s blow-up potential could throw a wrench into things, but I’m expecting a low-scoring affair tonight in New York. DeGrom will shut down the Twins, so betting the under on 6 ½ runs here looks like the play. Betting the under at -115 still carries decent profit potential, as well.
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