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New York Mets Riding Hot Start

It’s been long argued that the best way to bet on baseball is to track starting pitchers. That’s all fine and all, but sometimes that causes bettors to miss the hot streakers. Right now the only team that really fits that bill is the New York Mets, a team that was a long +2000 World Series favorite in the preseason.

The Red Sox, Angels and Astros are all off to great starts as well but nobody expected to see a surge out of the Mets like this. Right now they’re a handsome +950 on the season above the moneyline. There’s nobody even remotely close to them.

Feasting on the St. Louis Cardinals and the always hapless Phillies helped get them cracking out of the gates, but they were favored in virtually all of those matchups. What was more impressive was their grilling of the Washington Nationals, who they stomped by a combined score of 17-7 over three games. A lot of that was built over a decimation of Stephen Strasburg, who gave up 5 hits and 4 earned runs in 6.0 innings before giving way to his bullpen which handedly let him down even further.

Upcoming Schedule for NY Mets
at Miami (April 11)
vs. Milwaukee (April 13-15)
vs. Washington (April 16-18)

The New York Mets are gleefully rolling in runs at a high rate and are riding a pretty unreal momentum when you consider that they’ve never been touted as a great offensive team. Aside from the occasional night that Noah Syndergaard takes the mound, the Mets are virtually off the radar. Not even Matt Harvey moves the needle for baseball bettors these days.

Hot starts from unexpected sources are very tough to measure, but the Mets are already seeing dividends. Their World Series odds have been reduced to +1300, and they’re now being given a 34-percent shot at winning the division according to FanGraphs, who have also elevated their win total to 88. Most of us all want to see Washington’s reign of terror in the pathetic NL East come to a rightful end, and the Mets are exactly the type of team that can get it done.

One of the big keys to keeping momentum going is ensuring that the offence keeps scoring, and that’s just not possible given how the order is structured. However, Jeurys Familia has been absolutely sensational as a closer and just picked up his sixth save of the season.

Syndegaard and Jacob deGrom are going to be doing all the heavy lifting as they’ve started six games already and the most important tactical element is escaping Matt Harvey games as slippery as possible. He has not looked good, though I don’t mean to pick on him by any means. But he’s a weakness and the offence has fortunately averaged 5.1 runs per game while covering for him.

There’s nothing clinical about the Mets, and you know this because they’re average in home runs with 11 so far on the season, while ranking near the bottom of the barrel in terms of stolen bases. They’ve also piled up a whopping 8 errors, which is the 27th worst mark in the majors. In other words, this meteoric rise isn’t sustainable.

But when that iron is hot, strike it with everything you’ve got. The return date at home against Washington is where I anticipate things to get dicey for the Mets but they’re doing the one thing that a midway team can do early on – pick up lots of early wins to insulate themselves for a cold spell in the summer.

It’s always a simple thing to target the smart pitching matchups and what not, but every spring there’s a hammer fisted underdog who over performs while people back away in disbelief. This streak will end and the win-loss will correct. Baseball is cruel like that.

That isn’t the case for now, which means bet away on the New York Mets. I did not think I would write that sentence this season.

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