Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.
The underdogs may have inherent value in a matchup of two fine young pitchers with bright futures Friday night when Chase Anderson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (42-42, 20-21 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets (44-42, 29-14 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 7:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Arizona.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Arizona as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +124.
Finally at .500
The Diamondbacks have finally gotten back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 24th after sweeping a two-game interleague series vs. the Texas Rangers after incredibly losing their previous 12 attempts to get to .500! With that obstacle finally out of the way, they can set their sights on bigger issues as they have now moved up to a second place tie with the World Champion San Francisco Giants in the National League West, 5½ games behind the Dodgers.
The Mets meanwhile return home after winning back-to-back road series for the first tine all year on their successful 4-2 venture to the west coast, being the winning MLB picks in two out of three games at both Los Angeles and San Francisco, thus helping Arizona in the process. The Mets are second in the National League East and have closed the gap behind the Washington Nationals to only three games.
Anderson has been very consistent this season, allowing three runs or less in nine of his last 12 starts including allowing two runs or less in eight of those outings, as well as allowing three runs or less in 12 of his 16 starts overall including allowing two runs or less 10 times. That includes holding these Mets to one run in 5.2 innings back in Arizona on June 6th.
The end result of all that is a 4-2 record with a 3.71 ERA and a very good 1.16 WHIP, and that ERA is skewed by his start in Colorado three starts ago where he was charged with eight earned runs in 4.2 innings, which happens to even the best of pitchers in that altitude.
Remember that Anderson was highly touted when he was first called up last season, and he immediately showed why as he was sitting with a 3.16 ERA in mid August after his first 15 Major League starts. He did fade late however to finish at 9-7 with a 4.01 ERA overall, but that was probably due to some fatigue after shouldering a professional career high innings-load between Arizona and the minors.
He should also be helped here by facing a struggling New York offense that is averaging a mere 2.77 runs overall with a dismal .214 team batting average over the last 10 games. The Mets are also dead last in the Major League right now in both batting at .230 and in team OPS at .653 while ranking 28th out of 30 team in runs scored (3.45 per game).
Syndergaard Brings the Heat
Speaking of highly touted, Syndergaard was recalled by the Mets with a great deal of fanfare on May 12th and he has gone 3-4 but with a 3.38 ERA, an identical 1.16 WHIP as Anderson and 59 strikeouts in 58.2 innings vs. just 12 walks. Syndergaard throws gas and his fastball has topped out at exactly 100.0 MPH at the Major League level.
And we certainly see nothing negative about Syndergaard except for possibly needing a bit more separation in speed between his fastball and his other pitches, although that has not been an issue yet. However, the main problem we see with this line is that very little separates Noah from Anderson, and we feel that gives Anderson value at this underdog price.
That becomes doubly true when you factor in the clear superiority of the Diamondbacks’ offense, which is third in the majors in runs scored with 4.58 per game, fifth in batting at .264 and ninth in OPS at .730 while also showing great versatility by ranking second in stolen bases with 78!
Slumping Mets Batters
Finally, the Mets currently have two regulars in terrible battings slumps, and Anderson does not seem like the type of pitcher to snap a slump against. Lucas Duda has gone 2-for-29 over last eight games, while Michael Cuddyer is mired in a 4-for-40 slump.
With Anderson able to match Syndergaard on the mound and the Mets not hitting right now, we recommend backing Arizona at a nice underdog price as it opens a road set in the Big Apple on Friday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +124