The New York Mets don't have to face Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers (author of 42-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings) on Saturday, as he was on "paternity leave" for the birth of his child. But they will get him on Sunday, and Vietbet customers know that is kind of like being spared the guillotine for one more day.
Instead, in tonight's contest they will go up against rookie Zach Lee, who steps in to make his big league debut after a successful stint in Triple-A. Sure, there's the pressure of performing in New York, but there may not be a better team for him to break in against, as the Mets are last in the majors with a .233 batting average and .355 slugging percentage, scoring fewer runs than anyone else in the National League. They have just made a deal to acquire Juan Uribe (who was on the Dodger roster as recently as May 25) and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves, which won't be earth-shattering but may give them a baby step forward (it is questionable as to whether they will be available for Saturday). And Michael Conforto, last year's #1 draft pick and one of their top prospects, has been called up from Double-A after a little over a year in the minors, as Michael Cuddyer went on the DL.
Even with their offensive ineptitude, the Mets are 49-48 and just three games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East race. Matt Harvey (8-7, 3.19 ERA), who has made a nice comeback from Tommy John surgery, will be the starter for New York, which has scored a grand total of two runs in the first two games of this series - both losses.
In the MLB betting odds posted at Vietbet, the Mets, who actually have a home record of 32-16, are laying a price:
New York Mets (Harvey) -118
Los Angeles Dodgers (Lee) +108
Under 7 runs -120
Over 7 runs +100
Harvey is not coming off one of his better efforts. In seven innings against Washington on Monday, he had only three strikeouts but walked four batters. He was removed after the seventh inning, at which time he had yielded five runs (four of them earned). That was a big disappointment for someone who had previously owned the Nats.
When Lee was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft, he became the most expensive pick in the history of the franchise, as he was handed a bonus check of $5.25 million, as he may have otherwise gone to LSU to play quarterback.
Just a week ago, he was promoted to the majors because Major League Baseball rules permit a team to place an "emergency" 26th player on a roster for the second game of a doubleheader, which the Dodgers had against the Washington Nationals. He was in the bullpen for that one while Clayton Kershaw started, which made him a little like the old "Maytag Repair Man." So Vietbet customers didn't even notice. After that it was back to Oklahoma City, but he arrives once again to make his debut in the Big Apple.
Lee's season has been strange in other respects as well. A couple of months ago he was experiencing tingling in his fingers and the ailment was mysterious enough for him to see several specialists. Eventually it was determined that there was a circulation problem, so he got treatment, was put on a throwing program, and went through a "rehab assignment" of sorts, making starts at lower levels of pro ball. He leaves Oklahoma City with a 7-3 record and 2.36 ERA.
The Mets have just sent John Mayberry Jr. down to the minors. He was batting .164. And he was their CLEANUP hitter on Thursday.
That's how bad it's been.
So Lee may not be in bad shape here.
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