Could it be that the New York Mets have found a potential matchup edge in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series? Well, they would like to think so, as they are sending their top starting pitcher to the hill against a #3 guy for the Chicago Cubs. Jake deGrom pitched well enough to win twice in Los Angeles during the Divisional Series, and his first post-season outing was a classic, as he struck out 13 Dodgers in seven innings, going toe-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw. On Tuesday he faces Kyle Hendricks, who could not get out of the fifth inning in his start against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Game time at Wrigley Field is 8 PM ET, and BetAnySports customers can keep the wagers coming even after the first pitch, as they partake in real-time "punting" through the considerable facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Over the last eight games the Mets' staff as a whole has allowed eight runs, and they have yet to be challenged seriously by the Cubs' power. In Game 2, Noah Syndergaard, who has been sensational at Citi Field, struck out nine batters in just 5-2/3 innings, and after 101 pitches he handed things over to the capable Mets' bullpen, including Jon Niese, who was coming back from a death in his family. The 4-1 victory was highlighted by yet another home run from second baseman Daniel Murphy, who has now hit five in the post-season, including circuit clouts over each of the three front-runners for the Cy Young Award in the National League - Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Jake Arrieta.
Murphy picked a pretty good time for it, as he is in his contract year and might leave the fold. But he may not skip town; the rumor is that the Yankees, who need a second baseman badly, might be ideal suitors for his services.
In the reduced juice baseball betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Mets are the road favorites:
New York Mets (deGrom) -113
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks) +108
Under 7.5 Runs -120
Over 7.5 Runs +110
In deGrom's last four starts as a visitor, he has allowed just five runs in 26 innings. That is something of an improvement over the numbers he has demonstrated on the road this season (3.09 ERA, .647 OPS against). He's allowed sixteen homers this year, and 14 of them have been in away games.
It should also be noted that he has not been successful against the Cubs this season, losing both starts and allowing 18 batters to reach base in 10-1/3 innings, yielding three homers.
BetAnySports patrons had been scratching their heads over the struggles of David Wright, the third baseman and Mets' captain who had just one hit in his first 19 at bats during the post-season. He only had one hit on Sunday, but it was an important one - an RBI double that drove the first run off Arrieta.
Wright, who sat out the vast majority of the Mets' games with serious back issues, had offered to take himself out of the lineup after Game 1, but manager Terry Collins was having none of it. "David's going to continue to play as long as he physically can," according to Collins. "I can tell you that."
Wright has only batted three times against Hendricks, and gone hitless. In the new York lineup, only Lucas Duda (homer) and Murphy (double) have had extra base hits against him.
Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA) has been respectable at Wrigley Field, with a 3.38 ERA and 1.078 WHIP ratio. He tossed six scoreless innings at the Mets on June 30, giving up only three hits. And prior to Game 2 of the NLDS at St. Louis, when he was removed with two out in the fifth after allowing three runs, he had yielded just three hits and struck out 17 in his previous twelve frames. In his last 25-2/3 innings, he has fanned 37 hitters and walked just TWO. So conditions may indeed be right for the home team to bounce back as an underdog here.
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