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The Mets Look to Remain Hot vs. Faltering Miami Squad

New York has won seven of its last nine games and now turns to 26-year-old rookie Jacob deGrom to complete the sweep over the Marlins Sunday afternoon.  deGrom has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets this season as he takes the mound with a 3.37 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, including a 1.95 ERA and 1.23 WHIP at home, a 2.13 ERA and 1.10 WHIP versus division opponents, a 1.35 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in day games and a 2.41 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over his last three outings.  Indeed, deGrom has allowed a combined five runs in his past four starts, and he has collected 30 strikeouts over that stretch.  Most sports bettors would be surprised to learn that deGrom has the second most strikeouts in July (19) as he only trails Garret Richards (20).  In addition to his nineteen strikeouts over his last two starts, deGrom also struck out seven batters on June 21.  Of the four total starts in which deGrom struck out seven or more batters, three of them have come in his most recent four starts.

The matchup could not be better for deGrom this afternoon as the Marlins have struck out seven or more times against an opposing pitcher 32 times this season, which trails only the White Six and Astros.  In his last outing against the Marlins on June 21, deGrom threw seven shutout innings over which time he garnered seven strikeouts.  I also like the fact that deGrom is supported by a very good New York bullpen that owns a 3.23 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 2014, including a 3.09 ERA and 1.34 WHIP versus division opponents and a 3.45 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in day games. More importantly, deGrom’s underlying metrics fully support his breakout campaign:

Jacob deGrom’s Underlying Metrics:

  • 3.51 xFIP & 3.75 SIERA overall in 2014
  • 3.34 xFIP & 3.56 FIP at home
  • 0.99 xFIP & 0.46 FIP in July

Meanwhile, Miami southpaw Brad Hand has only allowed three earned runs in two starts spanning 11 1/3-innings (2.38 ERA) since being activated from the disabled list on July 3.  However, Hand owns a 5.09 ERA and 1.72 WHIP overall this season, including a 5.61 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in four starts and an 8.74 ERA and 2.03 WHIP versus division opponents.  Don’t be fooled by Hand’s recent outings as his underlying metrics tell the true story:

Brad Hand’s Underlying Metrics:

  • 4.80 xFIP & 4.73 SIERA overall in 2014
  • 4.56 xFIP & 4.26 FIP on the road
  • 4.63 xFIP & 5.57 FIP in March/April
  • 6.08 xFIP & 5.71 FIP in May

Hand’s horrible 27/19 K/BB ratio over 35 1/30-innings further confirms his pedestrian skill set.  In his most recent trip to New York on September 13, 2013, Hand allowed four earned runs on five hits (2 home runs) over 5 2/3-innings of work.  The good news for New York investors is the fact that the Mets hit southpaws fairly well (4.6 runs per game) and they are averaging 5.0 runs over their last seven games.  In contrast, the Marlins are 17-27 (-5.8 units) on the road where they are hitting .247 with a .304 on base percentage (3.7 runs per game) and 12-20 (-7.6 units) in day games wherein they are batting .246 with a .303 on base percentage (3.5 runs per game).

From a technical standpoint, New York is a profitable 6-1 in its last seven home games and 6-1 in its last seven game 3 situations, whereas the Marlins are a money-burning 43-91 in their last 134 road games, 21-44 in their last 65 road games versus teams with a losing record, 29-66 in their last 95 road games versus right-handed starters, 1-10 in Hand’s last eleven starts versus National League East opposition and 2-10 in Hand’s last twelve starts overall.  With Miami standing at 8-20 in its last 28 trips to Cit Field and thew Mets going 6-1 in their last seven games with Paul Schrieber behind home plate, take New York and invest with confidence.

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