The odds may vary depending on where you look, but for the most part the Diamondbacks are locked in as the MLB odds-on favorites for tonight's game against the Mets. Are they the play?
Some books have Arizona favored at a number of -115, while others have gone as far as to post a number of -125. Bookmaker currently has a line of -120 available for taking, putting them right in the middle of the action.
What that means is we can back the Mets at a nice +110 price. New York took the series opener yesterday and seemingly hold the edge in the pitching matchup again tonight, though odds makers aren't expecting the pitchers to do all well tonight; the O/U is currently quoted at nine runs early on in the day.
Arizona Diamondbacks (Hellickson)
The Diamondbacks weren't able to find much success at the plate against Matt Harvey in last night's series opener, as they fell 6-2 at home. Harvey pitched seven dominant innings and Robbie Ray, called up to make a spot spart, was solid but very inefficient. The Arizona bullpen didn't do too hot either.
Now it's Jeremy Hellickson's turn in the rotation, though he was originally scheduled to start yesterday. Either way, Hellickson hasn't been very good at all this season, going 3-3 with a 5.08 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Quality starts have been few and far between for Hellickson thus far with teh Diamondbacks, and though the Mets don't have the most imposing offense out there, they do have some power in the form of Lucas Duda, Michael Cuddyer and even Curtis Granderson.
The 28-year-old right-hander has been a mess at home, going 1-2 with a 6.58 ERA through five starts. Over those 26 innings, he's posted a 18:11 K:BB ratio while surrendering five home runs.
New York Mets (Niese)
The MLB odds board showed the Mets as a clear favorite yesterday when Harvey took the bump, and now we see why. He had a couple shaky innings, but for the most part it was a vintage Harvey performance. Behind their ace, New York picked up the victory and improved to 30-25 overall for the season.
We're not all that convinced that lefty Jonathon Niese will be able to be as efficient on the bump tonight. Niese has been laboring in 2015, going 3-5 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, and he's been especially poor as of late. He's failed to log more than five innings in any of his last three assignments, which doesn't bode well for this upcoming outing in a hitter's park in Arizona.
The Diamondbacks don't have the most feared offense in baseball, but they do have lefty-mashers like Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, so Niese is really going to have to be locked in this evening if he wants to guide the Mets to another win.
This is certainly a tricky situation. We've got two pitchers that we don't trust all that much, making it tough to figure out where the best value is with our MLB Picks.
When these types of situations arise, we like to gravitate towards a total play, in this case the OVER. When we don't have much faith in either hurler, it makes sense to fade them and back the two offenses. That's what we'll do here on a busy Friday night.
Hellickson has gotten roughed up many times already this season and the Mets' offense gets a huge park boost over in Arizona. Then there's the Diamondbacks offense, one that is loaded with hitters who slay lefties. Add that together and you can see why we think the OVER is the way to go; we also think there's some merit in backing the Mets at the plus price.
MLB Pick: OVER 9 (and lean on the Mets +110) at Bovada