MLB Picks: Mets Provide Unique Value As New Pitcher Hits The Mound

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 11:41 AM GMT

After getting rained out Monday night, the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates will try again Tuesday, with the Pirates pegged as home dogs on the MLB odds board.

New York Mets vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Something strange is happening. The New York Mets were supposed to play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park Monday night, but they got rained out. That's not the strange part. Our MLB odds board for Tuesday's game (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) has most books offering the Mets at around –130, but some have the Pirates as –125 faves or thereabouts. Must be some confusion over who the starting pitchers will be.

This opens up the possibility for some arbitrage – if these prices are still available when you read this. It's not much, though; you can make yourself 35 cents if you bet $100 on the New York at –125 and $79.65 on Pittsburgh at +126. Thank you, SBR Scalp Value Calculator. But we'll assume the teams and oddsmakers get all this straightened out, with the Pirates as the favorites.

Tuesday Weld
That's because reports at press time say Monday's pitching matchup will carry over to Tuesday, and the Pirates were going to be –125 home faves with Jon Niese (5.26 FIP) getting his first crack against his former team. Steven Matz (2.85 FIP) will represent New York in his lefty-on-lefty matchup. Judging by those FIP stats, one would think Pittsburgh is overvalued in this situation.

So would FiveThirtyEight. They had Monday's game as a 50/50 toss-up, with the Pirates (30-26, +0.20 units) losing points for starting Niese, and the Mets (31-24, –1.05 units) losing points for being the road team. However, New York has to deal once again with the absence of 3B David Wright (.788 OPS), who's out 6-8 weeks with a herniated disk in his neck. He joins a long list of wounded Mets, including catcher Travis d'Arnaud (.549 OPS), 1B Lucas Duda (.727 OPS), and possibly OF Juan Lagares (.718 OPS), who's been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb.

Fantasy Corner
The Pirates are healthy by comparison, but they've also never faced Matz, who's got everyone buzzing with 4.19 units in profit on a team record of 7-2. Niese, meanwhile, has pitched very well this past month or so after getting off to a rocky start. Current Mets hitters are 6-for-35 lifetime against Niese with a tiny .366 OPS. Thanks to his early troubles, Niese is only owned at 15.1 percent of ESPN leagues as press time. He's worth a shot.

As for our MLB picks, we're tempted by the UNDER here at the home office, but Tuesday's total is the lowest on the board at 7.5 runs (UNDER –110), and the OVER is 19-8 at PNC Park this year. So we'll go ahead and give Matz a spin with his team as the underdog. The way he's pitching, there won't be many opportunities like this in the future.

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Free MLB Pick: New York Mets +108
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
Record: 10-10 ML, 3-0 Totals (+3.29 units)