It's going to be tough for the public not to pile on the side of Dodger ace, Clayton Kershaw. That's why you should take advantage of the run line on this game for your Thursday MLB Pick!
The Los Angeles Dodgers begin a four-game series against the New York Mets in the Big Apple on Thursday, with each team coming off of a series loss. The Dodgers all of the sudden have the streaking San Francisco Giants breathing down their neck, and at 54-42 are only 2.5 games ahead of the Giants at the time I’m writing this. The Mets are chasing the Washington Nationals, who after starting out the season smoking hot have cooled off a little. The Mets are currently 49-46 and three games back of the Nationals. Both teams are similar in form recently, going 6-4 in their last ten games.
The talk in the national media about this game will be the scoreless inning streak of Clayton Kershaw of 20 IP, comparing him with his teammate, Zach Greinke, who has thrown 43.2 innings without giving up a run. I want to talk about his strikeouts. Kershaw has struck out an amazing 174 batters in 131 IP so far this year, en route to a 174/27 K/BB rate. This leads the major leagues, of course. His ERA of 2.68, 0.93 WHIP, and .211 BAA also are in the top 15 of the MLB across the board. Kershaw has an excellent record against the Mets. In eight starts, he is 5-0, with a 1.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and .211 ERA.
The last time I covered the Mets, 42-year-old Bartolo Colon was pitching against the San Francisco Giants, a game he won 11-2. Colon relies on a well placed fastball; two and four-seamers he throws in the 80’s more than 80% of the time. Since he doesn’t throw a lot of off speed pitches, he has excellent control, with a K/BB rate currently at 88/14 on the season. However, there is a consequence of being around the zone so much, and that is contact. Colon’s 85.6% contact rate at all pitches swung at is one of the highest in the league. A byproduct of that contact is that you will get hit hard on occasion and Colon’s HR/9 rate is 1.15. He’s had 18 starts and given up 14 HR’s, but he hasn’t been tagged in his last three games. In Colon’s recent losses he has also been victim of some terrible run support. The Mets are 3-7 in his last ten starts, but they have only scored five total runs in those ten losses. Gross.
The MLB odds in this game are heavily skewed towards the Dodgers, who are favored at -190 on the money line at 5Dimes. The O/U total suggests a pitching duel and is listed at 6.5 runs at multiple sportsbooks. The run line has the home team Mets getting +1.5 and still getting better than even money at +104 at Pinnacle.
MLB Picks: One must be wary of home team underdogs at all times. The Mets are one of those teams, and currently own a very good 32-14 record at home. On the flipside, the Dodgers are 21-25 on the road. Regardless who is pitching, these numbers can’t be ignored. Much like I’ve done successfully with Felix Hernandez lately, I’m going to fade the ace on the road, take advantage of the juice, and take the Mets +1.5 on the run line at +104 at Pinnacle for my Thursday MLB Pick.