Orioles vs. Mets MLB Odds & Picks: Will John Means Have More Success in New York? (Tuesday, May 11)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Mets pitcher Marcus Storman (pictured wearing #0).
Orioles vs. Mets Odds
Looking for Wednesday afternoon’s game? Click here.
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
On Wednesday, May 5, John Means achieved something that no other Baltimore Orioles pitcher had done since 1991: Throwing a no-hitter.
Means went the distance in a 6-0 road win vs. Seattle, holding the Mariners without a single hit and striking out 12 batters on 113 total pitches. If it wasn’t for a dropped third strike in the third inning, he would have had a perfect game.
His recent no-hitter punctuates a phenomenal start to his 2021 season. Means boasts a sterling 4-0 record and 1.37 ERA in 46 innings over seven appearances. His next challenge? Attempting to shut down a powerful Mets lineup.
New York has seemingly found its groove after winning five straight games and sweeping the Diamondbacks. That good run of play has vaulted the Mets into first place in the NL East. New York holds a full-game division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The red-hot Mets send starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to the mound in hopes that he can extend the team’s winning streak to six games.
The Orioles have really struggled at the plate, putting up a .297 wOBA and 89 wRC+, both of which rank in the bottom five among MLB teams. Baltimore has particularly struggled to hit right-handed pitching. The Orioles lineup reports a dreadful .207 batting average and has scored the fewest total runs in MLB vs. right-handers.
Baltimore certainly does not have a good matchup against New York starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. First, the Orioles lose the benefit of a DH by virtue of their interleague matchup in a National League stadium. Second, Baltimore only has three players in the lineup that hit sinkers well. That is disconcerting against Stroman, whose primary pitch is a sinker.
New York Mets
Altogether, the Mets have gotten off to a slow start to the 2021 season, putting up a .304 wOBA and 96 wRC+. However, New York has crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .335 wOBA and 118 wRC+.
New York draws an advantageous matchup against John Means on Tuesday. The one pitch New York is crushing right now is the fastball. In fact, the Mets already have 10.3 weighted fastball runs this year.
Nonetheless, when New York is forced to hit off-speed pitches, it most prefers to tee off on changeups.
Can you take a wild guess which two pitches John Means throws over 80% of the time? That’s right: Fastballs and changeups.
Starting Pitching Matchup
John Means vs. Marcus Stroman
2021 ZIPS Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)
Orioles Starting Pitcher
John Means, LHP
2020 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
I don’t expect John Means to repeat his no-hit performance from last Wednesday. However, I do think that Means’ early-season success is sustainable.
Means has drastically improved his changeup, which is now his put-away pitch. Last season, opponents tagged Means’ changeup for a .349 wOBA. He only tallied four total strikeouts on the pitch for a put-away percentage of 6.7%.
This season, he’s held opponents to a .102 average and only one extra-base hit on his changeup. Not only that, but Means has already struck out 22 batters on changeups for a put-away percentage of 29.7%.
— Today in MLB (@TodayintheMLB) May 5, 2021
Nonetheless, Means will have to be on point with his fastball-changeup combination tonight. Those are the two pitches that the Mets have had the most success against this year; moreover, New York is crushing left-handed pitching.
Mets Starting Pitcher
Marcus Stroman, RHP
2019 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Stroman has been solid through his first seven starts, posting a 2.10 ERA and 3.18 xFIP, both of which are career-best numbers. He has been successful with his entire arsenal, holding opponents under a .270 wOBA on his main three pitches: Sinker, slider, and cutter.
The main reason Stroman is so effective is that he forces a ton of ground balls. Before joining the Mets, Stroman put together four straight seasons with a ground-ball rate above 60%. Instigating a ground-ball rate that high is clear confirmation that his sinker/cutter/slider combination consistently stays down in the zone.
Stroman has made some changes to his arsenal this season. He eliminated his curveball and changeup, neither of which he threw very often anyway. He also added a pretty filthy split-finger:
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) March 2, 2021
Stroman draws a fantastic matchup against Baltimore. The Orioles lineup has desperately struggled versus right-handed pitching.
The Orioles bullpen has been surprisingly adept, posting a 3.43 ERA. However, Baltimore’s relievers are due for some negative regression, due to their inflated combined xFIP of 4.49 — over a full run higher than their ERA.
New York’s relief pitchers have also improved markedly year-over-year. The Mets bullpen has posted a 3.04 ERA and 3.59 xFIP and is largely responsible for keeping the team afloat during its hitting slump at the end of April/beginning of May.
The Mets will have the advantage in the later innings during this series.
Even though John Means just threw a no-hitter and has looked untouchable this season, I think the Mets have a good matchup against him. On the flip side, Marcus Stroman and the Mets bullpen should be able to shut down a struggling Orioles offense.
Since I have the Mets projected at -186, I think there is some value on them at -148 (DraftKings).
Pick: Mets -148