Mets Hold High Value On MLB Odds Board vs. Dodgers In Series Opener

Doug Upstone

Monday, May 9, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Monday, May. 9, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers will clash in L.A. this evening in a very interesting series for those looking for valuable MLB picks. Read more about our thoughts on Game 1!

After falling in first two contests at San Diego, the Mets offense perked up like Nyquist's ears and rode to a couple victories to split the series. The Dodgers scored three times in the last two innings for a 4-2 triumph at Toronto to take the series and close the road trip 3-2.

This is a battle of first place clubs in the National League and according to the betting odds this nearly a Pick, so let's understand the dynamics of the series opener for MLB picks.


Pitching Matchup - Matz vs. Kazmir
It is a battle of port-siders in Game 1 and the advantage goes to New York's Steven Matz (4-1, 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). The 24-year old got off to a rocky start to 2015, but in his last four starts he's won them all with a sick 0.67 ERA and has 29 strikeouts in 27 innings with only five walks allowed. He is working on 13 2/3 innings scoreless streak and is aggressively going after hitters with mid-90's fastball, solid curve and what scout's call plus changeup, which means it's really good.

After a remarkable career comeback, Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.68, 1.36) of the Dodgers needs to find some magic again and rather quickly at 32. Kazmir's four-pitch assortment is not fooling anyone these days, permitting four-plus runs and seven-plus hits in four of his last five starts. In one sense he appears to still be throwing well with 30 punch-outs in 31 1/3 innings with only eight free passes, but his velocity is noticeably down and been tagged for seven home runs already.


Offensive Overlook
New York scored 10 total runs in last two wins and are at 4.4 runs per game on the season, which is middle of the pack in the senior circuit. Besides what Yoenis Cespedes is doing for the Mets with his 11 homers, 30 RBI's and 1.077 OPS, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera leads the team in batting average at .306 and outfielder Michael Conforto is showing a versatile offense game with .373 OBP. New York has only faced four lefty starters and averaged puny 1.7 RPG.

The Los Angeles offense is at 4.29 RPG is benefitting from younger and older players alike. Chase Utley (.298 BA, .405 OBP) and Adrian Gonzalez (.278) lead the team in batting average, while Joc Pederson has a team-best six homers and though he's still fanning, his batting average of .275 and he's drawing more walks. Rookie S/S Corey Seager (.261 BA) has batted in the middle of the lineup a few times lately and is a star in the making. The Dodgers are scoring 3.9 RPG vs. left-handed starters.


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
At last look at JustBet, the MLB odds are virtually even with New York at -106, with the total having slipped from 7.5 to 7. The Metropolitans have won five of nine at Dodger Stadium of late and the OVER is 6-3.

The New York bullpen leads the league with a 2.63 ERA and has better than a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Opposing teams have hit only .219 against the Dodgers non-starters (2nd in NL), but they have allowed hits at the wrong time to be sixth in ERA at 4.02.


Game Outcome
From traveling perspective, New York just went up the freeway from San Diego, while Los Angeles had to fly from Toronto. The Mets have been starting series' with aplomb, 19-3 on Monday's since last year and they are 24-7 after a one run winner.

New York has advantages in starting pitching and the bullpen and Kazmir is 6-15 playing against a team with a winning record and 0-8 after giving up two or more home runs last the last two seasons. (Team's Record) Add it up and the visiting Mets look like a winner.

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Free MLB Pick: Mets -103
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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