The Mets took Game 1 of this NLCS& are dogs for Game 2 Sunday against Jake Arrieta. While the Cubs righty deserves the Cy Young, this handicapper likes the value with the home dog tonight.
NLCS Game 2 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds available on Chicago with Jake Arrieta was the -158 offered at Heritage, while New York with Noah Syndergaard was getting +155 at Youwager. And the total sat at 5.5 runs for what's expected to be another chilly night at Citi Field.
Also, 5Dimes was now chalking the Mets at -165 to win this NLCS, with the Cubs getting +145.
The Mets, +125 underdogs to win this series before it began, even with home-field advantage, grabbed Game 1 Saturday night 4-2. New York took an early lead on a Daniel Murphy homer, then took the lead for good on a Curtis Granderson base hit in the bottom of the fifth. Starter Matt Harvey allowed two runs through 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing in two months, and closer Jeurys Familia recorded the final four outs for the save.
We hit with our free MLB pick on Game 1 with New York, because we thought playing more recently gave the Mets an advantage. Chicago didn't pick up its first hit until the fifth inning.
The Cubbies swept the series with New York during the regular season, all seven games; that probably doesn't mean anything now.
Game 2's Starters
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on May 12, a 6-1 Chicago victory.
Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24) went 14-for-24 on quality starts this season, including three for his last four. He then started Game 2 of the NLDS against Los Angeles, giving up three runs and five hits through 6 1/3 innings in a 5-2 New York defeat. He also tossed a scoreless seventh inning in relief in the Mets' 3-2 Game 5 victory over the Dodgers.
New York is 13-12 in Syndergaard's starts this year, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 12-11 margin.
In his one career start against Chicago, back in that game in May, Syndergaard gave up three runs and six hits through 5 1/3 innings, and took the loss.
Arrieta (22-6, 1.77) went 25-for-33 on quality starts during the regular season, finishing on that fantastic run of 13 in a row, allowing just six ER through his last 94 1/3 innings. He then started the NL wild-card game at Pittsburgh and only tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout, walking none while whiffing 11, in that 4-0 Cubs victory.
Last Sunday he started Game 3 of the NLDS against St. Louis and had his worst outing since June, giving up four runs and five hits through 5 2/3 innings, in a game Chicago eventually won 8-6. So the Cubs haven't lost an Arrieta start since July 25.
For the season the Cubbies are 27-8 in Arrieta's starts, with the totals skewing UNDER 20-9.
In two starts this season against New York Arrieta allowed just two runs and eight hits through 17 innings, with two walks and 17 strikeouts; Chicago won both those games.
NLCS Game 2 Batting Splits
Chicago ranked eighth in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .322 team on-base percentage, and 16th with a .406 team slugging percentage. Saturday night the Cubs managed just five hits against a pair of New York righties, and struck out 10 times.
New York, meanwhile, ranked 21st against right-handed pitching with a .312 team OBP and 20th with a .397 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
The UNDERS went 41-38 in games played at Citi Field during the regular season, which averaged 7.4 runs, second-fewest among all ML ballparks. Saturday night's game pushed a total of six runs, even though the teams combined to hit three homers.
NLCS Game 2 Free Picks
Arrieta has been great for the last three months, but he got moved around a bit by St. Louis last time out. Also, because of his recent superb run he's probably favored by a bit too much on the Game 2 betting line. So in searching for the value in this spot we like New York again.
MLB Pick: Mets +155 at Youwager