The New York Mets aren't doing it with mirrors; rather, they are getting it done with great pitching. Here is a team that absolutely can not put runs across the plate, but they have won five of their last eight games. With regard to winning games without scoring any runs, they look a little like the Los Angeles Dodgers circa 1965, but on Saturday they will face the 2015 version of the Dodgers, who have a combination not unlike that of that world championship contingent.
While it can be argued that Clayton Kershaw has been has been channeling Sandy Koufax in recent years, Zack Greinke is kind of like his Don Drysdale. And although Greinke is a long way from Drysdale's 58-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in 1968, he is nonetheless working on something red hot at the moment, and Vietbet customers know the Mets are going to be once again hard-pressed to score runs as these two teams meet at 7:15 PM ET at Dodgers Stadium in what should be an explosive pitching matchup for the Fourth of July.
Yes it is "explosive" because the Mets are coming to the table with Matt Harvey, making another bid to be the staff ace after a year of inactivity, who has offered encouragement to all pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers lost last night's meeting with the Mets when they could gather only three hits in a 2-1 defeat. When you can get only three hits that often happens, and despite a yeoman effort from Kershaw, they could only score on a home run by Adrian Gonzalez, as Noah Syndergaard came with a strong performance away from home, much needed for this team that had gone into the game with a mark of 11-26 as the visitor.
In the baseball betting odds posted on this game by the people at Vietbet, the Dodgers are the favorites at home:
Los Angeles Dodgers (Greinke) -180
New York Mets (Harvey) +170
Under 6 runs -115
Over 6 runs -105
Obviously this is one that the totals bettors will be looking at with a great deal of interest. Greinke has to be considered a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, right up there with Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals. He leads the major leagues in ERA at 1.58, and he is on track for the first sub-1.00 WHIP ratio of his career - even better than the 1.073 he posted in 2009, when he won the American League Cy Young as a member of the Kansas City Royals.
His 6.6 hits allowed per nine innings, not to mention his WAR (wins above replacement) figure are both seventh in the majors, and he has gone three straight starts - against the Rangers, White Sox and Marlins - without allowing an earned run (that's a total of 20-2/3 innings). The Mets may be worse offensively, at least on offense, than any of those teams, and Vietbet patrons know it. They have now scored two runs or less in ten of their last eleven games, with three runs in their last four.
On the other hand, this staff, propelled by youngsters (with a touch of ancient Bartolo Colon thrown in) has been brilliant of late, yielding two runs or less in seven of their last eight. Let's go back further; the last eleven Mets games have TOTALED 41 runs.
Matt Harvey has been stopping the opposition too. No, his ERA (3.08) is not as sparkling as Greinke's, but he has a 1.02 WHIP and has been tough to hit over his last three outings, giving up just two runs in 19-2/3 frames. The good news is that he has not allowed a home rover that time; he has hurt himself a bit with that, surrendering a dozen round-trippers this season - as many in 15 starts as he had in his previous 36.
Harvey started the 2013 All-Star Game for the National League, then later went down with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. He had Tommy John surgery and sat out all of 2014, but came back for spring training this year, and it has been said that getting to do that at the start of a season, rather than returning in mid-season, against hitters in mid-season form, is definitely advantageous.
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