Jacob deGrom has become one of the better pitchers in baseball for the Mets, but he may have his hands full vs. Kevin Gausman and the Orioles at Camden Yards Tuesday.
A hot young pitcher may meet his match in interleague play at an American League ballpark Tuesday night when Jacob deGrom and those New York Mets (63-55, 21-34 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman and the Baltimore Orioles (61-56, 38-21 home) in the first game of a short two-game series from Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD at 7:05 ET in a game available on SNY.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Baltimore as the tiniest of home underdogs for this contest at current odds of -102.
Two Playoff Teams as of Now
The Mets continue to lead the National League East by 4½ games, but they have a six-game losing streak by the second place Washington Nationals to thank for that as the Mets were swept at home in a three-game series themselves by the Pittsburgh Pirates this past weekend with the Pirates completing a season sweep, which may not be good for the Mets’ psyche should the teams meet in the playoffs.
Speaking of the playoffs, the Orioles have now taken over the second wild card spot in the American League by one-half game over the Los Angeles Angels thanks to being the winning MLB picks in all four games over the Oakland Athletics to begin this home stand. That means that if the season ended right now, three AL East teams would be in the playoffs with the Yankees leading the division by one game over the Blue Jays, who own the first wild card.
Third place Baltimore is still not out of the running for the division title however, trailing New York by four games.
Facing Better Lineup
The Mets’ deGrom is the reigning National League Rookie of the Year and he has developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball at 11-6 with a spiffy 2.02 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 152 strikeouts in 146.2 innings vs. just 28 walks. Like the entire Mets team though, deGrom has not been quite as good on the road at 5-4, although the average pitcher would be more than happy with his 2.70 ERA away from Citi Field.
The bigger issue here though, besides facing an opposing pitcher that can match him, is that deGrom is facing a much tougher American League lineup than he is accustomed to facing in the National League, and he must also deal with a designated hitter with Baltimore being home. And this is a hot Orioles’ lineup that he is facing, batting .272 while averaging a potent 5.27 runs over the last 10 games including an 18-run explosion vs. the A’s on Sunday.
Great at Camden Yards
Now, Gausman is just 2-4 with a 4.48 ERA overall, but he has been a totally different pitcher at Camden Yards where he has sparkled over his three starts, posting a 1.50 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 20 strikeouts vs. just five walks in 24 innings. Furthermore that has continued a pattern that Gausman has had throughout his brief career since first being called up in 2013, as he has a lifetime 3.38 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at home vs. a 5.10 ERA and 1.40 WHIP away!
Gausman also gets to face a Mets’ lineup that has not been at its best on the road vs. right-handed pitchers, batting just .233 and averaging only 3.31 runs in this circumstance. This will be his first ever start vs. the Mets, an unfamiliarity he could use to his advantage, although he does have one perfect inning of relief against them with two strikeouts.
Home vs. Away Disparity
Finally, while the Mets are a terrific 42-21 when playing at home even after getting swept by the Pirates, keep in mind that they are only 21-34 on the road including going 1-6 in their last seven interleague road games vs. right-handed starters. Meanwhile the Orioles are a very good home team as they are a sparkling 71-33 in their last 104 games at Camden Yards overall and a scintillating 52-22 in their last 74 home games vs. right-handed starters!
While deGrom is certainly one tough customer, look for the home team to prevail again with Baltimore extending the losing streak of the New York Mets to four games at Camden Yards on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Orioles -102