The New York Mets have been a big surprise for online betting fans this year, blowing past the moribund Washington Nationals and an Eastern division that has been, for the most part, well below average. Thanks to awful years by the Phillies, Marlins and Braves, there’s been plenty of room for the Mets to run off with the title, behind the strong pitching of their four Young Guns in the pitching rotation.
NL Playoff Online Betting Team Preview: New York Mets
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However, with Steven Matz looking like his back will put him out of commission, the Mets will be down to three Young Guns, so the team has to make a decision: how to use the rotation. One suggestion involves starting Jacob deGrom in Game 1 and following with Noah Syndergaard in Game 2 and Matt Harvey in Game 3, even though he skipped a team mandatory workout the other day. Should the series extend further, one idea is for the Mets to start deGrom in Game 4 on short rest. In Game 5, they could start Syndergaard again on regular rest, thanks to the off days in the series.
Why should the Mets consider this? Their opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have two of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, so one school of thought says that the Mets should throw their Big Three against the Dodgers’ Big Two.
The risk? DeGrom has never pitched a game on short rest, so he would have to forego his normal bullpen session and get ready. This would add to his workload, but he has the competitive personality to make such a move work, especially with postseason glory on the line. According to scouts, Syndergaard is throwing better now than earlier in the season. Cincinnati Reds All-Star Todd Frazier was singing Syndergaard’s praises Sunday, talking about how masterful he has become despite such scant experience in the big leagues. So in a five-game series, three great pitchers should be able to beat two, right?
What would happen if the Mets advanced? If the move on to the NLCS but it takes five games to do it, then Harvey could start Game 1 of the NLCS.
So what’s the other option? There is 42-year-old Bartolo Colon who could start Game 4. He’s become more celebrated for his rare hits (and his subsequent rumbling around the basepaths). He has picked some wins, but most of them have come against the awful competition in the National League East. The Dodgers, on the other hand, feature a dangerous lineup.
Of course, if the Mets pull off the sweep, they don’t have to worry about it. However, if they find themselves down 2-1 to Los Angeles, starting deGrom on short rest will be tempting. It would be easier to justify starting Colon if they are up 2-1 and have deGrom on the shelf to start Game 5. No matter what happens, it will be a fascinating series – just like they are every October.