Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets ace pitcher can make lots of hitters look silly. The hurling right-hander can also make bettors who wager against him appear even more dumb. No pitcher in baseball right now is tougher and more revered than deGrom who takes the mound tonight at home in his fifth start versus the streaking Boston Red Sox.
Let's look closer. DeGrom's numbers this year have been staggering.
50 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched, which means he's striking out about half the batters he's facing.
So, what idiot would bet against the hottest pitcher in the majors? Isn't that crazy?
What we know is, everyone – fans, gamblers, and the media – are jumping on the deGrom train. The Mets are -270 favourites vs. the Red Sox in Wednesday's game which begins at 6:40 EST. Betting the underdog comes back at +220. This line is entirely predicated upon one thing – starting pitching.
Typically, I wouldn't bet against a pitcher of deGrom's caliber and his recent performance is intimidating. But tonight, the opponent is Boston in the opposing batters box and dugout. That should count for something.
Boston. Yes, the Red Sox – who are in first-place at the moment with an impressive 15-9 record, three games up in the AL East. Boston is also the #1 hitting team in the majors right now. They are playing great baseball so far– certainly better than the mediocre Mets.
The NY Mets. Ah yes, the Mets – who are 9-9 at the moment and yet are a huge favourite against a team that seems to be way undervalued.
In what is expected to be a close, low-scoring game, getting +220 looks like a gift. A great example of a scenario that could very well repeat itself is last night's game won by Boston 2-1. The problem – the Mets' bats went silent.
Should a team struggling at the plate be laying this price? I think not.
Finally – let's also consider the Red Sox starter, who's getting no respect in this game. Boston's Nick Pivetta is 2-0, boasts a 3.48 ERA, and a 1.36 WHIP, with 18 strikeouts. No, those aren't quite deGrom-like numbers, but with a better hitting team that's getting a huge price as a dog, THAT'S value.
Sometimes in sports gambling, doing what seems crazy is the correct play. No one ever got rich going along with the crowd. Finding values and then having the courage to bet it is usually a winning strategy.
So, we're taking the Boston Red Sox as huge dogs tonight.