Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets
Moneyline: CIN +160/NYM -180
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (2-3, 4.85 ERA)
In his return to the mound last Friday, deGrom's rare rough patch continued. The reigning National League Cy Young winner was tagged by the Milwaukee Brewers for five runs in just four innings, marking the third straight start deGrom failed to make it past the fifth.
This even after his remarkable MLB-record-tying streak of 26 consecutive quality starts, which was ceased by this current rut.
In deGrom's defense, his most recent assignment followed a lengthy rain delay, something that can be a variable for any starting pitcher in leading to undesired results. He's also had notable bad luck based on the .389 opposing batting average on balls put in play he's allowed.
At the same time, as SNY's Andy Martino pointed out, deGrom's strikeout rate (37 percent) is still really good, even superior to the K rate he's registered for his career (29.2 percent). It's also notable that deGrom's 3.69 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is more than a full run better than his 4.85 ERA, indicating better days are ahead sooner than later.
Perhaps that can begin as early as tonight, against an opponent deGrom has had success with. While it's been in just four career meetings with the Reds, deGrom's compiled a delightful 2.25 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, striking out 34 batters compared to seven walks in 24 innings.
Furthermore, Cincinnati's three most dangerous hitters -- Yasiel Puig, Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto -- are a combined 7-for-34 (.206) off the Met ace.
Bettors can still trust deGrom, especially where he's most comfortable at Citi Field (career 2.32 ERA), but it may not be as simple as placing a wager on him. His counterpart, DeSclafani, is actually pretty good and comes into this contest in a groove, having yielded only one run total in his last two starts, spanning 12 innings.
This is a right-hander who has exhibited potential before to break out, only for injuries to derail his momentum, including having to sit out all of the 2017 campaign. No Mets hitter has recorded more than four at-bats versus DeSclafani and that unfamiliarity could assist the 29-year-old in keeping the offense to a minimum.
How I Would Bet This Game
Due to the bit of uncertainty surrounding deGrom's struggles, it'd be hard to lay that -180 juice on the Mets. Thus, it might be better to pursue the over/under despite it being so low. It's possible it jumps up to 7, so I'd say to wait it out, and even if it sticks at 6.5, that's probably still the best bet to make here.