MLB Picks: Cubs vs. Mets Will Make You Some Cash Tonight

Jason Lake

Friday, July 1, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Friday, Jul. 1, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

It's not too often the Chicago Cubs are on the wrong side of the MLB odds, but they're slight underdogs at press time for Friday's matchup with the New York Mets.

Are the New York Mets ever going to give Jacob deGrom some run support? They didn't need to this past Saturday; deGrom pitched eight scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves, and the bullpen kept a lid on things until New York (–139 away) prevailed 1-0 in the 11th inning. We had the UNDER in that one. Cash money, baby.

Next up for deGrom and the Mets: Friday's matchup (7:10 p.m. ET, MLBN) with Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs. Hammel has pitched very well this year, and he's enjoyed 5.07 runs of support per game from his teammates, but those bats have dried up lately. The Cubs have lost each of Hammel's last four starts, and at press time, they're very slight –104 road dogs on Friday's MLB Odds.


It's Always Coming 7
Maybe we should stick with the UNDER. There are totals of 7 (+105) and 7.5 (–120) available for our MLB Picks; deGrom (3.00 FIP) saw each of his last five starts go UNDER totals of 7.5 or lower, with New York scoring a grand total of three runs during those games. As for Hammel (3.88 FIP), he split the totals at 2-2 during this losing streak to sit at 7-7 on the season, but note that his last start was a 6-1 loss to the Miami Marlins (OVER 6.5) on Sunday. Hammel allowed two runs in six innings before the bullpen melted down.

What is going on with the Cubs (51-27, +4.80 units), anyway? They started this season like the 1927 New York Yankees – or the 1939 Yankees, if you prefer. But they've lost seven of their last 11 games, including Thursday's series opener against the Mets (41-37, –8.86 units). Was their early pace unsustainable? Perhaps, although their .302 team BABIP doesn't look that bad. Injuries to key players haven't helped the Cubs. Add another name to the pile: OF Jason Heyward (.650 OPS), who was already struggling with his new employers, has missed back-to-back games with sore ribs. He's expected to return Friday, though.

Fantasy Corner
Having said all that, current Cubs have a combined .827 OPS versus deGrom, and the Mets have pounded Hammel for a .816 OPS. Alas, OF Curtis Granderson (7-for-21 vs. Hammel) has joined New York's list of walking wounded. Would you believe INF Kelly Johnson (.655 OPS) is 9-for-30 with two dingers and a .846 OPS? The Mets acquired Johnson earlier this month from the Atlanta Braves, and he's only owned in 0.7 percent of ESPN leagues at press time.

Yeah, these injured lists just keep getting longer. They don't completely explain away the lack of run support both deGrom and Hammel have gotten lately, but they do make it easier for us to recommend the Under here at the ranch. Stay healthy out there.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7½ -120
Best Line Offered: at BetCRIS
Record: 14-13 ML, 5-1-1 Totals (+5.14 units)

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