MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Marlins vs. Mets: Is New York Overpriced as Favorite?(September 2)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Marlins vs. Mets: Is New York Overpriced as Favorite?(September 2) article feature image

Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Thompson.

  • New York and Miami finish up their series after a day off due to inclement weather.
  • Sandy Alcantara toes the rubber for the Marlins against Carlos Carrasco.
  • Tanner McGrath explains below why he thinks the Marlins are mispriced as underdogs.

Marlins vs. Mets Odds

Marlins Odds+200
Mets Odds-245
TimeThursday, 7:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via FanDuel

The Marlins and the Mets square off in Game 3 of this series on Thursday night, after Trevor Williams and New York earned a pair of wins on Tuesday.

This Marlins season is practically done and while the Mets aren’t dead yet, they’re dangerously close. As such, this may seem like one of the least interesting matchups in MLB this week on paper.

But who cares? There’s always an angle to find, so let’s dig into some best bets for this evening’s National League East matchup.

Miami Marlins

Miami has had a tough season. The starting pitching has been excellent, but its offense has been inconsistent and failed to produce in timely situations.

For example, back on Aug. 17, Sandy Alcantara pitched eight innings of one-run ball against the red-hot Braves. The Marlins lost 1-0, and their record in one-run games dropped to a staggering 13-24.

That’s been the formula for the Marlins all season, and it seems to explain why their 55-78 record is paired with a 62-71 expected record (based on a -39 run differential).

The Marlins lineup will get another shot to disappoint its rotation again, as rookie pitcher Zach Thompson takes the mound. Thompson has been an exciting find for Miami, having posted a 3.14 ERA and 1.12 WHIP through 13 starts this season.

However, Thompson’s expected statistics have shown a need for regression all season. Through July, Thompson had posted an ERA below 2.25 but an xFIP above 4.00. It seems like the regression train has pulled into Thompson station, as he’s posted a 4.50 ERA in his five August starts.

Thompson’s going to attack you with a four-seam fastball and cutter combination, and the pitch mix has been an unlikely couple. The cutter has been shutting guys down, allowing a .172 BA and a .276 SLG, while the four-seamer has been getting crushed, to the tune of a .345 BA and a .691 SLG.

New York Mets

Uncharacteristically, the Mets are on a winning streak.

Yesterday was their third in a row, and this run has pulled them within five games of the division lead. However, between the injury issues and low offensive production, there’s not much hope for the Mets coming down the stretch.

New York went 9-19 in the month of August, behind a .677 OPS and an 88 wRC+ — both stats that rank among the bottom 10 MLB teams in that time. Meanwhile, Javier Baez has hit a cool .214 with a .707 OPS since being acquired from Chicago, and he’s not helping the Mets' cause.

Meanwhile, the starting pitching rotation is filled with injuries and has been league average as a result. And while Carlos Carrasco, today’s starter, has finally gotten healthy, he sure hasn’t shaken the rust off.

Carrasco has posted a cool 6.94 ERA and 1.29 WHIP through his first six starts with the Mets, and New York has lost four of those games. He’s been unlucky, as his xERA is down at 4.11 and xFIP at 3.67, so I’d expect some positive regression as the season moves on.

However, it’s worth noting his strikeout numbers are way down this season. Carrasco has posted a K/9 under 10 just once since 2014, but he’s currently at 8.87 through this season. The whiff rate on his three secondary pitches — a slider, changeup, and sinker — are all way down in 2021. Plus, the swing-and-miss rates over the past few seasons paint an interesting picture:

We’ll see if he can bounce those numbers back up today, as the Marlins are one of the most strikeout-happy teams in baseball. Over the past 30 days, they're striking out at the second-highest rate in MLB (26.3%).

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Marlins-Mets Pick

It’s fair that the Mets should be favored at home, but in no situation should they be more than 2/1 favorites to win this game.

The Marlins and Mets have posted nearly identical hitting stats over the past 30 days, and while it’s true Carrasco is due for some positive regression while Thompson is due for some negative regression, there’s no good reason to price the former this high.

It’s also worth mentioning Carrasco has posted an ERA approaching 9.00 in his four starts at home this season, while Thompson has posted an ERA under four in his six away starts.

Surprisingly, I’d give a slight advantage to Thompson and the Marlins in this game. But when they’re priced at +200 on FanDuel, Miami becomes an auto-bet for me. I’m happy to take the big plus-money dog in this game and hope the Marlins don’t lose by one run again.

Pick: Marlins ML (+200)

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