Colorado Rockies vs New York Mets (8/25/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

Happy Jacob deGrom day!

After injuries have spurned off about a full season’s worth of deGrom’s career, the Mets ace is back in his rightful spot – 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate.

He actually suffered a tough loss last time out against the Braves, allowing an uncharacteristic three runs over 6 ⅔ innings pitched. Outside of that, he’s been otherworldly.

Do the Rockies even have a chance?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Thursday’s matchup.

Colorado Rockies vs New York Mets Odds

When you get deGrom and the first-place Mets going up against (checks notes) Ryan Feltner and the last-place Rockies, this is what you get — A betting line that is so lopsided it’s rarely seen during the course of a 162-game MLB season.

When one team opens north of -400, I immediately look the other way. A line of -440 implies that the Mets win this game 80% of the time, and no MLB team ever wins any game 81.9% of the time. The sport is just too complicated for that.

However, I’m not quite prepared to attack the Rockies ML. We’ll have to dig a little deeper to find the best value in this slate.

Colorado Rockies Starting Lineup

RF C. Blackmon L
SS J. Iglesias R
2B B. Rodgers R
1B C.J. Cron R
3B R. McMahon L
CF R. Grichuk R
DH E. Montero R
C E. Diaz R
LF S. Hilliard L

Colorado Rockies vs Jacob deGrom

Hitters can’t plan against deGrom. The pitches all come from the same place, they travel too fast and are too nasty, and they all look like the same pitch. You have no way of knowing what is coming until it’s too late.

First, here’s the release point of every deGrom pitch since the beginning of 2019.

Screen Shot 2022 08 24 at 5.20.22 PM

Image credit: Baseball Savant

How are you supposed to get any type of reading when his four-seam and curveball come from an identical spot?

Second, here’s how well he tunnels his fastball-slider combo:

Those pitches break apart maybe two feet from the point of contact?

Third, he ranks in the 100th percentile in fastball velocity (100mph on average), the 94th percentile in fastball spin rate, and in the 100th percentile in chase rate. His slider moves about two inches more than the average MLB slider, but he throws it 94mph.

In four starts this season, deGrom has struck out over 45% of pitchers and walked just 1.2%. He’s allowed just one home run, an average exit velocity under 89mph, and a hard-hit rate under 30%. While his ERA is a ridiculous 2.31 through his 23 ⅓ innings of work, his xERA is 1.50 and his xFIP is 1.08.

There’s nothing the Rockies can do but swing hard and pray. And this is actually a decent lineup! CJ Cron is putting together another fine season (118 OPS+), Charlie Blackmon is always a threat to go deep (16 HRs, 19 doubles), while Brendan Rodgers and Jose Iglesias have been above-average hitters while being good glove guys up the middle.

Unfortunately, I doubt they put up more than a run on deGrom.

Houston Astros Starting Lineup

CF B. Nimmo L
RF S. Marte R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH D. Vogelbach L
2B J. McNeil L
LF M. Canha R
3B B. Baty L
C J. McCann R

New York Mets vs Ryan Feltner

The Rockies are high on Feltner. He’s the organization’s No. 21 overall prospect after being taken in the 2018 fourth round. Although, that says more about the pitching depth in the Rockies’ system than it does about Feltner (he’s really a relief prospect that is being forced into a back-end rotation role).

His fastball has picked up some velocity from his last stint in the Majors, almost two ticks, and the added spin rate on his curveball has led to a -1 Run Value so far. But there’s still plenty of work to be done.

chart 2022 08 24T173630.126

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Feltner struck out over 10 batters per nine innings during his 11 Triple-A starts this season, something he replicated in seven High-A starts early last season, but that hasn’t quite transferred over to the Majors. His Whiff and Chase rates remain low.

Hard contact will come in bunches, even for a Coors field hitter. His 44.4% hard-hit rate ranks below the 10th percentile of pitchers, and that’s led to a litany of expected stats not worth mentioning here.

That will play right into the Mets’ hands. All the Mets do is make contact, and it’s generally not hard contact. Having Feltner lining up across from them should only help the Mets’ cause. The Rockies need to try and get this game to the bullpen, although that unit is a disaster as well.

Colorado Rockies vs New York Mets Pick & Prediction

My picks: Colorado Rockies F5 Under 0.5 Runs (+150 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

There is almost zero value to be found in this game.

However, deGrom is looking for a bounce-back start after an upsetting outing against Atlanta, and this is a huge step-down in talent from five days ago.

The Rockies’ offense has been hot lately, but this is their first game away from Coors in a week. And they’re staring down a guy who has a career 0.88 ERA against them at Citi Field.

In fact, deGrom has pitched against the Rockies at home six times in his career, and shut them out three times, allowing one run in the other three starts. If there’s a 50% chance deGrom throws five shutout innings, this +150 number is already a steal.

But considering he pitched more than five innings the three times he did allow one run, I’m giving him more than a 50% chance.

I generally wouldn’t bet a silly line like this. But if you’re going to make a bet on deGrom day, this is the bet you want to make.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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