MLB Picks: There's Still Value In Spite Of Chalk In Pirates vs. Mets

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, June 16, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 16, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

The rubber match of this set arrives tonight at Citi Field where the Mets hope to keep booming after an 11-2 victory over the Pirates. Let's review the MLB odds and cash a ticket.

I backed a sizeable underdog in my MLB Picks yesterday when I decided that the Arizona Diamondbacks would be a decent value play considering they were getting well north of +200 against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw. It turns out that they played tough but one mistake by starter Patrick Corbin cost them the game and put an end to our torrid pace as they were edged 3-2. Yet, we are here to pad our bankroll and if I see a home dog that is getting too generous a return then I will pounce. But as the old axiom goes, there is no value in losing.

Let's get back on the horse, analyze this matchup as well as the accompanying MLB Odds, and pad our bankroll. There's always a new heater just waiting to happen.


Pittsburgh Pirates (33-32, -3.3 units)
Pittsburgh blanked the Mets 4-0 in the opening game of their series in Flushing, New York, which was a welcome reprieve from their five game losing streak. But the jubilation was short-lived as Pittsburgh returned to Citi Field yesterday only to get walloped 11-2 and inch closer to .500 on the season. The Pirates lineup has been far more effective than their pitching this season as they rank 5th in team batting average (.269), 8th in runs scored (306), 3rd in on base percentage (.344) and 13th in slugging percentage (.414).

Veteran hurler Juan Nicasio (5-5, 5.34 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) gets the starting assignment for the Bucs as he hopes to duplicate his efforts from two weeks ago when he doused the Mets in Pittsburgh, surrendering just one run on three hits through five innings of work which resulted in a 3-1 Pirates' victory. However, his last performance and the one following his win over the Mets, was strikingly different as Nicasio was blasted by the Cardinals for six runs in one inning of relief work leading to a 9-3 Pittsburgh loss.


New York Mets (35-29, +5.00 units)
The Mets' lineup may be depleted but the substitutes came through in flying colors as New York ripped their guests by the score of 11-2 and garnered 19 hits, the most in a single game this season. The offensive outburst was uncharacteristic of the team's anemic track record this season. The Mets rank in the bottom third of the majors in team batting average (.235), runs scored (240) and on base percentage (.310) while their slugging percentage of .409 puts them at 16th in the league.

The ageless Bartolo Colon (5-3, 3.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) takes the bump for the home team tonight and is coming off an impressive performance in his last outing against the Brewers where he allowed eight hits but just one run over seven innings in a 5-2 victory in Milwaukee. Colon will be eager to see the Pittsburgh uniforms tonight as he has a 1.88 lifetime ERA against the Pirates, his lowest against any team he has faced over his career.


Betting Analysis
This one had me initially leaning towards the Mets and after doing my homework, my opinion hasn't changed. They have a pitcher on the mound in Bartolo Colon who has had excellent success against the Pirates over his career with a 1.88 lifetime ERA and a team behind him that absolutely exploded with 19 hits and 11 runs last night.

Conversely, there is Juan Nicasio whose last outing, first of the season as a reliever, was the worst of his career when he was torched for six runs and chased after just one inning against the Cardinals. Nicasio has had success against the Mets but not enough to mitigate the possibility that he will still be reeling from his throttling against St. Louis. He is also winless in five road starts with a 6.20 ERA on the highway.

The bottom line is that though I am convinced that Colon will eventually melt down and his ERA will balloon, he is still the play today as I believe the chances of Nicasio's road woes to continue outweigh Colon falling apart on this day in June. Maybe in late July but not now. Colon has too few walks and strikeouts to maintain an ERA just a scooch north of three as there is a ball put in play in virtually every at bat against the 43-year-old veteran.

But that doesn't mean he is not a good pitcher - he's just not as good as his stats indicate which means there will be a regression towards the mean. But I will back Colon here because even if he gets in trouble the Mets have a rested bullpen while the Bucs will be in serious trouble after using a total of four pitchers yesterday. We will take the home chalk here.

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MLB Pick: Mets -122
Best Line Offered:  at BetDSI
MLB Record: 35-17, +18.46 units

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