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Thu, 06/05/14 - 7:05 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 906 CHC (-110) Pinnacle vs 905 NYM
Results: W, $200
906 NY Mets at Chicago Cubs

Jacob deGrom will make his second career road start on Thursday evening at Wrigley Field. He'll be opposed by Travis Wood. deGrom enjoyed his three starts at pitcher-friendly Citi Field, allowing just four earned runs in three starts. In his first road start against the Phillies, deGrom struck out 11, but allowed three runs. Early in his career, deGrom's fastball has been an extreme fly ball pitch, which will work against him in road starts. Hitters have taken a patient approach to deGrom in his first four starts and that has led to a 12 percent walk rate.

Thus far, deGrom has been rather fortunate with batted ball luck, in part because of having three out of four starts at Citi Field. His line drive rate is north of 25 percent, so a .203 BABIP doesn't appear to be hanging around for long. In the minors, deGrom gave up more than one hit per inning, so 16 hits in 26 innings is likely a mirage.

Travis Wood is a guy that absolutely deserves a better fate than the one he has experienced so far this season. Wood has an ugly 5.15 ERA but a 3.83 FIP, a 4.06 xFIP, and a 3.86 SIERA. Something brought up by Joe Peta in Trading Bases - the concept of clusterluck - has not been on Wood's side. With the bases empty, opposing batters have a .228/.286/.329 slash line. With men on base, hitters are enjoying a .304/.379/.500 slash. In his career, Wood has been slightly worse from the stretch, but not by that dramatic of a margin. Those numbers should balance out very soon.

Consider that Wood is posting the second-best strikeout rate of his career and has lowered his walk rate from last season. Last year the batted ball luck was on his side. This year, it hasn't been. But his line drive rate is lower. With more strikeouts, fewer line drives, and advanced metrics suggesting improvement, Wood is due for a few good outings.

The Mets are 20th in OPS and 22nd in SLG against left-handed pitching. They are just 6-6 against lefties on the year. We've isolated the Cubs as a team that should be on the rise given their bullpen stability, Pythagorean Win-Loss record, and rotation that has pitched better than ERA would indicate. We'll take them again here in a spot where they should have success.


Pick Made: Jun 5 2014 5:30AM PST
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