For my upset pick in major league baseball today I will back the Chicago Cubs when they visit the New York Mets. We have two excellent pitchers on the mound today and this should be a really fun matchup. This is simply one of those games that could honestly go either way so we are going to take the value on the plus money line with the Cubs.
MLB odds makers have made the Cubs a +115 underdog. Again, that is good value even against a very good pitcher today for the Mets. The best odds I have seen so far are at Heritage Sports, where you can get the Cubs at +117. So just to reiterate our word of the day for this matchup is "value."
On the Mound
For the Mets, Jacob deGrom takes the mound with a really solid 2.15 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP. He also has 100 strikeouts in 100 innings and would be considered in the running for the Cy Young Award so far this season. In only 37 career starts he has a 2.47 ERA and batters are hitting .220 against him. That is the only negative thing against him is the fact that he still has a long way to go in his major league career, but he has great stuff. At home he has also pitched really well, but this is one of those games where we are talking about value even against a good pitcher. For the Cubs another good pitcher takes the mound in Jake Arrieta who comes in with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, he also has 103 strikeouts in just 98 innings. In away games this season he has continued his solid pitching with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He hasn't been quite as solid as last year but in his last two games he has only allowed one earned runs in his last 16 innings off of just seven hits, it seems he is starting to hit his stride again and should be a formidable opponent for the Mets.
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At the Plate
Neither the Cubs nor the Mets are particularly dominant this season at the plate. The Cubs do rank higher than the Mets in most offensive categories but right now you can say these teams are somewhat even with a lean to the Cubs. The Cubs rank 22nd in the league in runs scored per game and the Mets rank 27th, this theme continues with the Cubs ranked 18th and on base plus slugging percentage and the Mets rank 28th. The Cubs do strikeout a bit too much for my taste as they rank last in the league in this category, but besides that they simply are a better offense than the Mets. One more category, the Cubs rank 21st in batting average hitting .243 compared to the Mets ranked 29th hitting .233.
This could end up being a war of attrition with these two teams battling today. Two very good pictures on the mound for both squads should make this an interesting pitcher's duel. So for me I always look for the value, and today the value sides with the Mets. Arrieta has been a very good major league pitcher these last two years and should be able to keep the Mets down in the numbers. If the Cubs can scrape a few off of deGrom they could easily find a way to win this game, back the value and the Cubs in this spot.
MLB Pick: Cubs +120 at 5Dimes