Lock Yankees at Plus Odds as Mets Face Uncertain Bullpen Situation

David Lawrence

Sunday, September 20, 2015 4:54 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 20, 2015 4:54 PM GMT

How will this Sunday night game play out? Join us as we preview the betting odds on offer for this 'Subway Series' finale and share our top value MLB pick.

The New York Yankees and New York Mets will both make the playoffs this year. That hasn’t been a common occurrence over the years, but it will happen in 2015. The Yankees are trying to catch the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East, while the Mets are trying to make sure the Washington Nationals don’t get too close to them over the final two weeks of the season.

 

Momentum
Neither team is really lighting it up. The Yankees won a series earlier in the week against Tampa Bay, but didn’t get the sweep which would have moved them closer in the American League East. The Mets lost a series at home to the Miami Marlins, a product of being bored with their very large lead in the National League East. When the Mets swept the Washington Nationals in Washington a week earlier, they had landed a big blow in the N.L. East, and as long as Washington failed to make a move (which has been the case), the Mets have not needed to crank it up in any real way of late.

The two teams have split the first two games of this series, with the Mets winning on Friday night and the Yankees winning on Saturday afternoon. Any notions of momentum just don’t add up to very much in trying to decide who will win this game.

 

Pitching Matchup
With C.C. Sabathia on the mound, the Yankees have a pitcher who most likely has seen his best days come and go. Last year, Sabathia lost a lot of weight, but in his advanced age, he lost velocity on his fastball. He regained weight this season in the belief that more body weight would increase his leverage and momentum when striding toward home plate, but that really hasn’t happened. He’s still a mediocre pitcher in this post-peak period of his career. He has a 4.93 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP, far cries from the standards he set for many years, through 2012 in particular. He’s a shell of his former self, and it will take a lot to find some answers – they probably won’t ever be found, but maybe Sabathia can gain a solution in 2016.

Matt Harvey pitches for the Mets, a reality which brings his innings limit into the discussion. The crazy and controversial situation surrounding Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, in relationship with the Mets organization, defies easy description. Harvey and Boras have allowed it to become an issue. The Mets made a good-faith effort to limit Harvey’s innings over the course of the season, but the idea of a firm innings cap is something you’d never expect a pitcher to adhere to. It was, for instance, bizarre that the Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg before the playoffs when they did. Strasburg would have wanted to pitch. With Harvey, it’s the pitcher who wants to stop. How he’ll perform here seems less a matter of his 2.88 ERA / 1.04 WHIP, and much more a matter of his attitude. Bettors need to decide how they think Harvey, at 171 2/3 innings, will treat this game.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Harvey situation hangs over this game like a cloud. Harvey can’t be too well liked in the clubhouse right now, and with his innings limit, he probably won’t go beyond the sixth inning. The Mets face an uncertain situation with their bullpen as a result, and that seems to give the Yankees an edge as long as Sabathia is okay, and not terrible. Take the Yankees here as your Sunday MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Yankees +137 at Bovada

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