Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#967 Cleveland Indians 8.5 vs.
#968 New York Mets -130
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 7:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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#967 Cleveland
#968 New York
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It’s the conclusion of an interleague set on the diamond in the Big Apple. The Cleveland Indians are on the road as they finish up a three-game series with the New York Mets Thursday night. In the opening game of the series, it was the Mets rolling to a 9-2 victory on Tuesday night to continue their second half surge. The pitching matchup for the middle game of the series Wednesday night saw Adam Plutko take the mound for the Indians: he was scheduled to face the Mets’ Marcus Stroman. First pitch in that contest was scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.

Cleveland Indians Trying to Gain Ground in AL Central

Cleveland lost for the fifth time in their last seven games as they were dumped by the Mets in the opener of this set. The Indians entered Wednesday holding the top wild card spot in the American League: they were three games behind the Twins in the AL Central race. Jason Kipnis (run, two RBI) was the lone player with two hits for Cleveland, including his 13th homer of the year, in the loss. Shane Bieber (12-6) took the loss as he allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts over six innings: an error on a routine fly ball by Oscar Mercado gave the Mets an extra out in the sixth, which led to them taking the lead for good.

Aaron Civale takes the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Indians in this contest. He comes in 1-2 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.958 WHIP, six walks and 22 strikeouts over 24 innings of work this season. Civale took the loss in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Yankees. He threw six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two walks and eight strikeouts in a 3-2 Indians defeat. Civale is 0-2 with a 2.00 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, three walks and 16 strikeouts over 18 innings in his last three starts. In his fifth career major league start, he pitches against the Mets for the first time. As a result, this marks the first career start at Citi Field as well.

New York Mets Battling in Crowded NL Wild Card Picture

New York won their third straight game and improved to 25-10 since the All-Star break as they pulled away late in the opener of this series. The Mets entered Wednesday tied for third in the NL East, nine games behind the Braves: they were two games behind the second wild card spot. New York got two hits from Amed Rosario (run, RBI) while J.D. Davis (his 15th) and Michael Conforto (his 27th) each homered in the victory. Steven Matz (8-7) earned the win as he threw 6.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Noah Syndergaard is on the bump for the Mets as he logs his 25th start of the season in this contest. He is 8-6 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.208 WHIP, 42 walks and 151 strikeouts over 154 innings of action this season. Syndergaard took the loss in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Royals. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a game that the Mets lost by a 4-1 count. Syndergaard is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, five walks and 14 strikeouts over 20 innings of work in his last three starts. In his 112th major league appearance and his 111th career start, he pitches against the Indians for the first time. Syndergaard is 27-13 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.097 WHIP, 77 walks and 383 strikeouts over 357.1 innings in 58 career appearances, 57 starts, at Citi Field.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Indians are having to rely on their young arms a little bit longer as Corey Kluber was removed from his last rehab start with an oblique strain and was shut down for two more weeks before being reevaluated. While Civale has held his own in his first four big league starts, he’s still looking for his first road win. The Mets have been hot in the second half of the season to push back into the playoff picture and they showed they can beat good teams as well as doormats by taking the opener of this series. Syndergaard has strung together seven consecutive quality starts coming into this contest and has been on a roll. Look for the Mets, riding their ace, to come up with the victory in this one to take the series.

Prediction: New York Mets -148

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Indians have done a decent job getting by without three veteran starters, not to mention the dealing of Trevor Bauer at the trade deadline. One has to be concerned that potentially the weight of playing in these high-leverage games will end up being too much for the young arms down the stretch. This is a matchup of two of the hottest teams in the league with the difference being that the Indians hold a playoff spot while the Mets are still on the outside looking in at the postseason. Syndergaard has been rolling of late: can he deliver another quality start for the Mets in this contest?

The over is 5-1 in the Indians’ last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 4-1-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record and 4-1-1 in their last six games on the road. New York has seen the over go 3-0-1 in their last 4 home games vs. a right-handed starter, 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning record and 5-1-1 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter. The over is 12-3 in the last 15 meetings: look for this one to squeeze over the number.

Prediction: Over 8.5

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Syndergaard has been pitching well of late and he, along with Jacob deGrom, are a major reason that the Mets have had success of late. He’s turned in a 2.05 ERA, a 1.055 WHIP, 12 walks and 50 strikeouts over 48.1 innings in seven starts since the All-Star break. That’s more than two and a half runs lower than he posted in the first half of the season. As a team, the Mets have a 3.17 ERA and a 1.199 WHIP in the second half of the season compared to a 4.88 team ERA and a 1.385 WHIP in the first half of the year. With the way Syndergaard is pitching and the Mets are hitting, you have to give them the upper hand after five innings.

Prediction: New York Mets

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Both teams have seen their bats heat up in the second half of the season coming into this contest. The Mets have averaged 5.46 runs per game in the second half of the season and they are slashing .269/.336/.462 in that stretch. New York’s numbers are up 15 points in batting average, 10 in OBP and 31 points in slugging percentage over the first half of the year. Cleveland has put up 5.29 runs per game in the second half and they’ve posted a .269/.330/.477 slash line in that stretch. The Indians have seen their average jump 25 points, their OBP mark eight points and their slugging by a staggering 59 points since the All-Star break. Given the way both teams are hitting in the second half, this one goes over the total after five innings.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.