The Milwaukee Brewers are doing their best to withstand the hard charging Reds in the NL Central and a series win over the weekend has Milwaukee just a half game back of first place at 40-37. Now, they are set for four games with the New York Mets in Queens this week. The Mets are 35-42 after dropping two of three to the Phillies.
For Game 1 of this series the fourth place Mets will send former ace, Justin Verlander to the mound to make his 10th start of the season. Verlander is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA this year and will be opposed by 3-4 Colin Rea. Rea has made 13 starts and has worked to a 4.88 ERA. With JV on the hill, the Mets are the favorites at home.
Brewers vs. Mets odds, run line and total
Brewers vs. Mets prediction and pick
So far this year, the Mets are 3-6 in the nine games Verlander has taken the mound. Yet, they are convincing favorites against Milwaukee. Verlander is not the same pitcher he was last year, or frankly any year of his career. He has a 20.5% strikeout rate which is 31st percentile in baseball along with the eight home runs he’s given up. The longball has always been something Verlander has struggled with, even in his best seasons, but this year there happen to be quite a few more runners on base when they happen.
The Brewers are last in the NL in OPS this year at .675 for the season, but they’ve still managed a much better record than New York even with their offensive woes. Over the past week they have a .582 team OPS, but at least Willy Adames has a .903 OPS with two home runs in that stretch.
Over that same week-long stretch the Mets aren’t much better, at 20th in baseball with an OPS of .674 and only one more home run than the Brewers. Verlander is better than Colin Rea that’s a certainty, but at age 40, I’m not sure by how much. Neither offense can be relied upon, so it’s hard for me to trust the Mets as favorites. This year they are only 12-12 as a home favorites and 26-24 when favored at all. That is the eighth worst record as a favorite in baseball. I’ll take Milwaukee, but I want the point and a half because this feels like it could be low-scoring and close.
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