Mets vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Value on a Moneyline and Total for Sunday Night Baseball (Sunday, July 4)

Mets vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Value on a Moneyline and Total for Sunday Night Baseball (Sunday, July 4) article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Yankees standout Gary Sanchez.

Mets vs. Yankees Odds

Mets Odds+135
Yankees Odds-160
Over/Under7 (-125/+105)
Time7:08 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet.

Sunday Night Baseball will host to the second half of a holiday doubleheader, with the New York Mets facing the New York Yankees in a battle for "Big Apple" supremacy on Independence Day.

Despite countless injuries and a meager +2 run differential, the Mets currently hold a 3.5-game lead in the NL East standings and have risen to -250 (71.4% implied) in the divisional futures market. FanGraphs currently gives them a 74.2% chance of winning the NL East, while PECOTA projects their true odds at 65.6 percent.

The Yankees, who were the preseason AL favorites, sit 9.5 games out of the division lead and five games out of a playoff spot. New York's current divisional odds are listed at +850 (10.5% implied). While PECOTA (projected 29.6%) still thinks they're a good bet to overcome a nearly 10 game deficit, FanGraphs (projected 9.7%) thinks those divisional odds are about right.

Although the Yankees have a lot of catching up to do, the Mets have three divisional rivals lurking within four games of them and one bad weekend (including a reverse sweep in a doubleheader) could put a large dent in their advantage.

Both teams need this game and have extra motivation to put one over on their cross-town rival. So, who has the edge in the nightcap? 

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Injury Troubles Continue to Haunt Mets This Season

The 2021 Mets had up to 19 players simultaneously listed on the IL at one point. They have 13 injured players at present.

Credit their revamped front office — and new ownership — for finding ways to configure organizational depth to piece this season together creatively.

Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil returned within the past two weeks and should provide a significant boost to an offense ranking 23rd in expected wOBA or xwOBA (.308) this season.

In the preseason, the Mets looked like they might have the most fearsome lineup in the National League, but only two (Pete Alonso and Jonathan Villar) of their nine qualified hitters (min. 100 PA) has an above-average wRC+ on the year; a group which includes both Conforto and McNeil.

Most of the lineup has underachieved relative to expected metrics (negative differential shown below) and can expect to see better results in the future:

To survive to this point with a winning record, the Mets replaced offense with defense, deploying the likes of Billy McKinney (+4 Defensive Runs Saved or "DRS"); Joneshway Fargas (+2 DRS); Mason Williams (+1); Cameron Maybin (+1); Jose Peraza (0); and Jonathan Villar (0) in regular roles.

The Mets rank sixth in DRS (+28) on the year and have netted positive value at every position except for third base. This is a substantial improvement from a unit that has ranked  25th (-16), 26th (-34), 24th (-31), and 29th (-68) defensively, dating back to 2017.

The Mets' shortstops combined for -42 DRS over that four-year span of defensive futility; they're +6 (Lindor +5) this campaign.

On the pitching side of things, the Mets rank ninth in xwOBA allowed (.308), though Jacob deGrom (.186 xwOBA) knocks that team number down a bit.

The Mets' bullpen ranks seventh in xFIP (3.98); eighth in SIERA (3.76); and, ninth in strikeout minus walk rate or K-BB% (15.9%) this season. While their relief group is mostly fresh for this doubleheader, an appearance by either Seth Lugo or Trevor May would mark their third in five days.

Corey Oswalt (career 5.40 FIP, 4.96 xFIP, 4.74 SIERA) is expected to start Game 2. He has consolidated his arsenal over time, getting rid of his sinker and curveball during the past two seasons.

However, nothing is fascinating about Oswalt's profile or pitch mix. He's a replacement-level arm at the MLB level.

Sanchez Finally Heating Up for Unlucky Yankees

The 2021 Yankees have had a headache of a season.

Like the Mets, they're primed for offensive regression and rank as the second unluckiest offense in baseball (-.020 xWOBA differential) to date.

New York's xwOBA (.335) ranks third, but its actual wOBA (.315) is tied for 12th and most of its hitters have underperformed (negative differential below) relative to batted ball data:

Gary Sanchez has heated up in June (1.035 OPS, .426 wOBA and 172 wRC+) after quieting his leg kick and other big bats like DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres have each been a bit unfortunate.

The Yankees rank sixth in xwOBA allowed (.303) on the pitching side, but they haven't been helped by a 28th-ranked defense (-21 DRS).

Clint Frazier (-10 DRS), Sanchez (-5) and Aaron Hicks (-4) have been the biggest culprits on the defensive front. The two outfielders are currently injured, and the club recently acquired the speedy Tim Locastro to provide some cover.

While his speed is an outlier skill, it doesn't necessarily translate to defense. Locastro has been a below-average defender (-4 DRS) since entering the league.

Nestor Cortes (2.28 xERA, 3.09 xFIP and 2.98 SIERA) has been electric for the Yankees. He offers both a four-pitch mix (fastball, cutter, changeup, slider) and enough stamina to work through half of a seven-inning game.

He'll be supported by a top-five Yankees bullpen (3.88 xERA, 4th; 3.60 SIERA, 4th; and, 17.1% K-BB%, 5th), which is well-rested for the doubleheader.

Expected metrics indicate that the Yankees pair a top-three offense with a top-five pitching staff, but poor offensive luck and a bottom-five defense have caused them to underperform expectations.

Their season has been unbelievably disappointing, but I'm not quite ready to count them out of contention.

Mets-Yankees Pick

It's difficult to put an exact line on Game 2 of a doubleheader before Game 1 has ended since bullpen usage in the early game will directly determine how the later game plays out.

We can adjust on the fly between games, but absent that information, I projected the odds for Game 2 as follows:

Based upon my projections, I would place a first five innings or F5 moneyline bet on the Mets at +191 or better or on the Yankees at -160 or better.

Furthermore, I would place a full game moneyline bet on the Mets at +179 or better or on the Yankees at -150 or better.

Regarding the total, I would play an Under 7.5 down to -110 or I would bet an Over 6.5 to -102.

Similarly, I would bet an F5 Over 5 at +100 or better, but would also have to take F5 Under 5.5 at +100 or better.

Pick: New York Yankees, First Five Innings Moneyline (-150) | First Five Innings, Over 5 (+100)

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