Mets & Disappointing Harvey Make Rockies Your Underdog MLB Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 13, 2016 3:25 PM GMT

Matt Harvey has not been his usual self for the Mets this season as of yet and that does not figure to change in his first start at Coors Field, making the Rockies the MLB pick.

MLB Record: 20-20-1, +3.46

In a line that may be set more on past reputation than on actual performance this season Friday night, disappointing Matt Harvey and the New York Mets (21-13, 12-7 away) appear to be overvalued as they pay a visit to fellow right-hander Jon Gray and the Colorado Rockies (16-18, 5-10 home) in the first game of a three-game weekend series from Coors Field in Denver, CO at 8:40 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted money line at Bovada has Colorado as a home underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +110.

 

Now Tied for First in National League East
The Mets are the defending National League Champions and they have now caught and tied Washington this year following a very hot start by the Nationals for the NL East lead at 21-13. That is despite losing two of the last three nights to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, as New York needed pitcher Noah Syndergaard to hit two home runs and drive in all four runs in the 4-3 win on Wednesday.

The Rockies meanwhile are hanging in the National League West race in third place, only 1½ game behind the two teams most expected to contend for the division title with the Dodgers and Giants tied for first. The Rocks did begin this week as the losing MLB picks in two out of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks here at home though, avoiding the sweep by salvaging the series finale 8-7 on Wednesday.

 

First Coors Experience Does Not Help
Harvey was one of the best pitchers in baseball before his Tommy John surgery a bit more than two years ago, and he then had nice comeback season last year going 13-8 with a nice 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 189.1 innings vs. just 37 walks. However he has looked like a shell of himself so far in 2016 going 3-4 with a weak 4.50 ERA and only 35 strikeouts and an uncharacteristic 13 walks in 40 innings.

Harvey does come off of a Quality Start in his last outing vs. the Padres in San Diego however, although he still went only six innings while allowing two runs and four hits as 10 strikeouts plus two walks ran his pitch count up to 102, which matches his season-high. That last time Harvey threw 102 pitches, he followed up by losing to the team with the worst record in the National League in the Atlanta Braves while allowing eight hits plus two walks in 5.2 innings.

This time he is following up vs. a Colorado offense that is averaging 5.62 runs per game while batting .286 as a team at Coors Field so far, which should not really come as a surprise. Granted, Harvey is 2-0 with a miniscule 0.39 ERA and 0.45 WHIP in three career starts vs. the Rockies, but all three of those outings came back home at more pitcher-friendly Citi Field. Harvey is now making his first career start at Coors, which can be naturally disconcerting.

 

Rockies Exceeding Expectations?
The Rockies finished in last place in the NL West last season at 68-94 and not too much improvement was expected this year, so they may be considered to be overachieving at only two games below .500 right now, They look to keep that surprising start going here tonight with Gray on the bump, who we feel is a bit better than his record.

Gray actually had a decent forecasted WAR of 2.2 this year on the preseason ZiPS projections, although that is not yet evident by his mainstream numbers as he is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. However, he actually does have a 0.7 WAR at this early stage, so the preseason forecasted WAR seems quite reachable.

At this point, you are probably wondering how a pitcher with a 5.40 ERA through 21.2 innings could have a 0.7 WAR, but the answer becomes more obvious with a deeper look. You see, Gray has a terrific 28 strikeouts in 21.2 innings vs. just six walks and he has been affected by allowing an insanely anomalous .352 BABIP, all leading to an excellent 2.54 FIP and 2.14 xFIP.

Moreover, Gray was outstanding in his last start at San Francisco allowing just one hit over seven scoreless innings, and his peripheral numbers suggest there may be more starts like that in his bright future.

 

Suddenly Having Trouble Piecing Together Good Starts
Finally, Harvey may have been one of the best pitchers in baseball prior to this season, but he has had difficulty putting together back-to-back good outings since the latter part of last year, as the Mets are now 0-5 as a team in his last five starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance. And remember that the Quality Start came vs. a Padres’ team not known for offense, unlike the Rockies when they play in the altitude of home.

Thus, we actually give the home underdogs the edge in this contest with the underrated Gray, so go for that underdog value with the Colorado Rockies when they host the New York Mets in the series opener from Denver on Friday.

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Free MLB Pick: Rockies +110
Best Line Offered: at YouWager