The Mets and D’Backs continue their 4-game weekend set, after the New Yorkers claimed the first game last night. Will favorites Arizona cover the MLB odds in game 2? Find inside our free pick.
NY Mets (Niese) vs. Arizona D’Backs (Hellickson) (-120) 9:40 ET
The Mets and D’Backs continue their 4-game weekend set, after the New Yorkers claimed the first game Thursday night with a 6-2 win behind their ace, Matt Harvey. That victory allowed the Mets to move ½ game ahead of Washington for the divisional lead in the NL East. But, the victory came at a cost as they may have lost Daniel Murphy (quad). Murphy had been compensating for the loss of David Wright on both offense and defense. It’s a major blow to the Mets’ infield, if neither of these players is available tonight. Repeating that road victory tonight will be improbable for the Mets, as they send an underachieving Niese to the mound against overachieving Hellickson, in what can only be described as the current form pitching mismatch of the day.
The Mets feature the biggest home/road dichotomy in all of baseball with a 21-8 home record and 9-17 road mark. The 12 more home wins than road wins is the biggest differential in MLB. Do not expect that to improve with tonight’s starter, Niese, on the mound. A hot start has dissolved into horrendous current form. In his most recent 4 outings, Niese is just 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA. That has lifted his WHIP to 1.57, making him a PURE PLAY AGAINST starter. Niese will have little confidence pitching against Arizona. In 5 outings vs. the D’Backs, Niese has a 6.67 ERA.
Arizona is a team well focused on reaching the .500 mark. This team has clearly improved over the one who tanked down the stretch last season to finish with a 64-98 record, after playing .500 ball the previous 2 seasons.They have been playing with confidence on this field of late with some outstanding offensive performances when they are not facing a Class A pitcher, as they were last night in the person of Harvey. Arizona will now play with confidence in backing Hellickson who has turned around his season. The YTD 5.09 ERA far belies the recent statistics. Following a disastrous start, Hellickson has turned it around with 3 solid performances in which he has gone 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA.
Following a hot start to the season, keyed by a front loaded home field schedule, the Mets are beginning to revert to their projected finish. Last night’s road victory notwithstanding, they are still just 2-9 on the road. We back up our MLB Pick with a dichotomous current form of tonight’s starters.
MLB Pick: Take Arizona D’Backs at Pinnacle