Billy J’s Tuesday MLB Pick – New York Mets @ Cincinnati Reds

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (-2.360.29 units), gives his best bet for today!

One of the more intriguing games on the slate this Tuesday is definitely today’s matchup between the Mets and the Reds. In game two of this series, the Mets will have one of their aces return in Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.54 ERA). Scherzer last pitched on May 18th and has been on the injured list since with a right oblique strain. With a couple minor league starts over the last two weeks, the Mets welcome back the right-hander to join the rotation for a few starts before kicking it into gear post All-Star Break.

Also making a return to their respective squad today is Reds left-hander Nick Lodolo (1-2, 5.52 ERA). Lodolo is one of the Reds’ top pitching prospects and has also been on the injured list for some time now as well due to a back injury. His last start being as far back as April 24th. So in this matchup between two pitchers making their return back from the injured list, what is the best play to make?

The Mets as the road team come in at -210 on the money line and -125 on the run line. That’s a lot to risk here even with Scherzer’s past performances this season. In Scherzer’s minor league starts he did ramp up the pitch count to get to 80 pitches so we have that in our back pocket knowing the Mets won’t limit his innings or pitch count to be taken out early. On the other hand with Lodolo, the Reds hopeful expectation is he can go inning for inning with one of the best in the game. Lodolo in his last start did go 5 2/3 innings with no walks and seven punchouts against the Cardinals. The prior two starts were a total of eight earned runs, which is why we see the high ERA.

Since we have two pitchers making their return, there aren’t more recent trends for us to dissect. However, the Mets in the last three starts against a left-handed pitcher have not fared too well. While facing the Rangers Martin Perez, the Astros Framber Valdez, and the Marlins Daniel Castano, the Mets have lost all three of those games. And in those three games, the Mets only scored five runs combined when facing those three left-handers.

When the odds are this high for a money line and in this case too risky for underdog odds against an ace, I’m looking at playing the first five innings. I do like the Mets to prevail, but I’d rather risk the -140 on the Mets -0.5 first five innings then -210 for the full game. The Mets have had trouble against lefties lately, but Perez and Valdez are two of the tougher southpaws in the game. Scherzer leaves all his emotions on the mound in every start and I expect no different today. He will be ready to come out of the gates and the Mets could feast early on a rookie pitcher.

The Pick: Mets -0.5 First Five Innings -140 CaesarsSportsbook for 1 unit

Bonus Pick: New York Yankees @ Pittsburgh Pirates

I’m in a New York state of mind as I do like the Mets to continue to take care of business against the Reds. Especially with Scherzer on the mound. In order to best play the Mets -210, I will pair them against the Yankees. I’m going to parlay the top tier teams here in New York against these two lowly NL Central teams.

The Pick: Mets -210 and Yankees -210 money line +123 CaesarsSportsbook for .5 unit 

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