Runs might be few in coming when New York and its ace go against Pittsburgh & its resurgent veteran hurler Saturday afternoon. Find our MLB pick in a game featuring two hot starting pitchers?
Mets-Pirates Saturday Betting Odds
As of early Saturday AM MLB odds board listed today's game, which matches Matt Harvey for New York against AJ Burnett and Pittsburgh, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of 6.5 runs.
Pittsburgh beat New York Friday night 4-1, just its second win in its last eight games. The Pirates scored twice with two outs in the second inning, and that was enough, thanks to another quality start from Gerrit Cole, who walked one and whiffed 10 through 8 1/3 innings, and a two-out save from Mark Melancon.
New York had won three in a row recently, but has lost three of its last four, and five in a row on the road.
At 24-19 the Mets sit in second place in the NL East, a game and a half back of first-place Washington; they're also tied with the Cubs for the lead in the battle for the second National League wild-card slot.
New York also owns one of the larger home/road splits in the Majors this season; it's 17-6 at home but only 7-13 on the road.
At 19-22 the Pirates are four games behind New York and Chicago in that wild-card scrum.
This weekend is the first meeting between these former division rivals this season; last year the Pirates took the season series from the Mets four games to three, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 5-2 margin.
Burnett, who lost 18 games pitching for Philadelphia last year, is seven-for-eight on quality starts this season, working on a run of seven in a row. Last Sunday he threw seven scoreless innings against the Cubs, pitching around five walks, and just before that he held Philly to one earned run through seven innings. On the season Burnett has allowed just eight earned runs and 42 hits through 52 innings, with 18 walks and 43 strikeouts; thanks to some poor run support Pittsburgh is only 4-4 in Burnett's starts, while the totals have leaned toward the UNDERS 5-2.
Last year, pitching for the Phillies, Burnett started four times against the Mets, and got bombed for 22 runs and 33 hits in 24 innings; Philly went 1-3 in those games, and all four games played OVER the totals. But are those numbers an aberration?
Harvey, meanwhile, by our tough standards, is five-for-eight on quality starts this season, and has left three of his last four starts without allowing a run. Monday he tossed eight scoreless innings against St. Louis, and just before that he threw seven scoreless against the Cubs. Too bad the Mets bullpen blew both those wins for him. For the season Harvey has allowed just 12 runs and 42 hits through 54 2/3 innings, with eight walks and 56 strikeouts; New York is 6-2 in Harvey's starts, with the totals splitting 4-4.
Harvey's only career start against Pittsburgh came two seasons ago, when he held the Pirates to two runs through seven innings of a 3-2 Mets loss.
Saturday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 29th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .627 team OPS.
Pittsburgh hasn't been much better, ranking 24th against righties with a .672 OPS.
New York is still playing without 3B David Wright and C Travis d'Arnaud, who are both on the DL with various ailments. We've been waiting for their absences to have an effect on the Mets, but so far they've weathered through.
Saturday Free Picks
As mentioned above, we've been thinking New York might hit some turbulence for a while now. We've also been waiting for Pittsburgh to get hot. Perhaps those trains of thought will collide today. Also, with these two righties going against lineups that have struggled against RHP pitching we're thinking UNDER for our MLB picks .