MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Mets vs. Marlins Thursday (Aug. 20)

Credit:

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets.

Mets vs. Marlins Odds

Mets odds -167
Marlins odds +143
Over/Under 9 (-190/-103)
First Pitch Thursday, 6:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The New York Mets will go for a four game sweep of the Miami Marlins on Thursday as they bring their best reliever Seth Lugo out of the bullpen and into their starting rotation.

Before the series, the Mets’ season was teetering on the brink of disaster, but a win and sweep of a divisional opponent could help turn their season around.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning. 

Mets

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Despite their 10-14 record, the Mets’ offense has been really good so far this season. They have the third-best wOBA (.345) and second-best wRC+ (122).

Inserting Dominic Smith after the first week of the season has paid huge dividends as the 25-year-old is already leading the team in home runs (six) and RBIs (16), while accumulating a .444 wOBA in only 64 plate appearances.

New York has also been crushing left handed pitching with a .342 wOBA and 121 wRC+, so Castano has a tall task ahead of him on Thursday.

Mets Projected Starter

Seth Lugo, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Seth Lugo finally gets his wish and has been put in the Mets starting rotation for the first time since 2018. Lugo has been the Mets best reliever over the past two years, posting a 3.24 xFIP in 2019 and a 2.73 xFIP so far this season.

He mainly has a three pitch arsenal of fastball-curveball-sinker that he uses really effectively. All three pitch generated a whiff rate over 20% and held hitters to a .171 average. It’ll be interesting to see if his effectiveness goes down once hitters are able to see him a second or third time, but none the less he’s still one of the best pitchers the Mets have.

The Marlins are near the bottom of MLB offensively in terms of wOBA (.301), so Lugo should have a great matchup in his first start in two years.

Marlins

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Despite their 9-9 record, the Marlins have been pretty bad offensively. They rank 25th in MLB with a .301 wOBA and 92 wRC+ and it’s only gotten worse over the past week. They’ve been the worst offense in MLB, hitting .235 and have a wOBA of .284 over the last seven days.

Marlins Projected Starter

Daniel Castano, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Daniel Castano has spent the last seven years in the minors and never made it above AA. His AA numbers were pretty good, posting a 3.16 xFIP in 86 innings.

However, his first two starts in the big leagues showed why he hasn’t made it past AA. It is only 10.1 innings, but he has an xFIP of 5.14 and has given five earned runs, including three home runs already. Coincidently, most of those runs and home runs came against the Mets 12 days ago. Castano only went five innings, allowing four earned runs and two homers to the Mets red hot offense.

The Mets have been one of the best offenses in baseball and have been crushing lefties so far in 2020, so Castano will have his hands full against their lineup tonight.

Bullpens

Despite Mets fans always complaining, they have one of the best bullpens in baseball. So far this season, they have an xFIP of 4.00, which ranks eighth in MLB. However, we’ll see if taking their best reliever out of the pen and putting him into the starting rotation has a drastic effect on their bullpen.

The Marlins’ bullpen was projected to be relatively average at the beginning of the season, but it’s been a disaster so far with a collective 5.56 xFIP that ranks 28th in MLB.

Projections and Pick

I think Seth Lugo and Mets are undervalued in the final game of the series. It’s difficult to project how Lugo’s transition from the bullpen back to the starting rotation will go, but he’s one of the best pitchers the Mets have, so he should have no trouble shutting down the Marlins lineup.

Therefore, I am going to back the Mets to be leading after the First Five Inning at -127 (DraftKings) and I would play it up to -132.

Pick: Mets First Five Inning -0.5 (-127)

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