New York Mets (57-74; 73-47-11 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Reds (56-76; 72-55-5 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 12:35pm EST
Line: New York -131/Cincinnati +118
The Cincinnati Reds will host the New York Mets in the three game series finale Thursday afternoon from the Great American Ball Park. The Mets will give the nod to 29-year old right-hander Jacob deGrom, and the Reds will counter with 24-year old right-hander Robert Stephenson. The Reds won the season series opener by a 14-4 score on Tuesday night.
DeGrom Dazzles in Win Over Nationals
Jacob deGrom will get the nod for the 27th time of the year, seeking his 15th victory. DeGrom was outstanding in his previous performance, limiting the Nationals to only one run in 7.2 innings, and earned the win to boost his record to 14-7. The Mets’ ace is having a strong season, posting a 3.39 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 172.2 innings of work. He held the Reds to one run in six innings in his lone career meeting. DeGrom has now accumulated 201 strikeouts on the year, resulting in a dazzling 10.48 K/9 ratio. Juan Lagares is starting to respond to his increased playing time, collecting seven hits along with three RBI’s over his last five games. The 28-year old centerfielder has been injured for a good portion of the season and is now hitting .255 with two homer and 11 RBI’s. Lagares owns a poor .164 average in 21 games against the Reds.
The Mets are currently averaging 4.60 runs per game, ranking them 18th in the Major Leagues and are hitting .248 as a team. The New York pitching is carrying a weak 4.84 team ERA, placing them down at 28th in the Majors.
Stephenson Targets Third Consecutive Victory
Robert Stephenson will make his 20th appearance and sixth start of the season, targeting his third straight win. Stephenson was terrific in his latest effort, holding the Pirates to only two runs in 5.2 innings, leading to the win. The rookie right-hander is having a very strong month, however he still owns a poor 5.81 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP to go with a 2-4 record in 52.2 innings pitched on the season. He made his one and only career start against the Mets last season and fared well, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings but took the loss. Adam Duvall has been productive, driving in four runs over his last four games. The 28-year old left fielder is having a solid season, hitting .254 with 31 home runs and 89 RBI’s. Duvall belted a three run home run in the 14-4 series opening win on Tuesday night.
The Reds are currently scoring an average of 4.82 runs per game, ranking them 11th in the Majors, and are hitting .256 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching continues to flounder, posting a Major League worst 5.36 team ERA.
The New York Mets are:
- 5-1 in deGrom’s last 6 starts on five days of rest.
- 8-2 in deGrom’s last 10 road starts against a team with a losing record.
- 20-7 in their last 27 games against the Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 1-4 in Stephenson’s last 5 home starts.
- 8-20 in their last 28 home games against the Mets.
- 8-20 in their 28 games in the third game of a series.
I am siding with the Mets in this contest. Jacob deGrom owns a solid 8-3 road record on the season, and he continues to pitch deep into the game, so I am confident siding with him. Furthermore, Stephenson has not been pitching deep into the game as he has not logged six innings all season, so the Mets will have a few cracks at the Reds weak bullpen.
Pick: New York Mets -131
DeGrom got back on track with a tremendous effort in his previous start, and Stephenson is pitching well for the Reds. DeGrom has allowed two or fewer runs in four out of his last five road starts, and the under is 5-1 in his last six starts on five days of rest. Stephenson has only conceded four earned runs in his 18.1 innings pitched this month, so I believe the under is a strong play in this one.