MLB Betting: Surprising Mets top NL East Quarterly Report

Defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves Struggling Early in the 2022 Season

With every team in the National League East having played at least 41 games of their respective 2022 regular seasons out of the customary 162, now is a great time to check in with those preseason future odds. The Mets top the NL East Quarterly Report and are on pace to go well over their regular-season win total.

Four of the Five NL East Teams Have Losing Records

When the Miami Marlins begin a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, that will give each of the teams in the National League East Division at least 41 games played. We’re not sure if many people expected the New York Mets to have the largest division lead as most of the teams in Major League Baseball have played at least 25 percent of the scheduled games.

The Mets have posted the third-best record in the National League, but with all the other teams in the division currently under .500, they are running away with the division.

It is not that surprising that the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals all have losing records, however, the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves are on pace to win 75 games and that is certainly a surprising development.

Here’s a look at the five NL East teams who have played between 40-43 games so far during the 2022 campaign.

New York Mets: 28-15 (-225 to win the division)

The Mets floated up from +145 to +200 odds to win the division before the season started, owing in part to ace pitcher Jacob deGrom being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Even with the arrival of Max Scherzer, there were plenty of questions surrounding the Mets starting rotation coming into the season.

Scherzer has joined deGrom on the injured list due to a strained oblique.

Former first-round pick David Peterson (1.0, 1.89 ERA) will join the rotation. Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker both have an ERA under 3.00 while Carlos Carrasco and Tylor Megill are a combined 8-3. That strong pitching is a reason for so much optimism in the betting market.

With Robinson Cano washed out with the Mets, the other part of the huge trade with the Mariners continues to pay dividends. Closer Edwin Diaz has struck out 12 of the last 23 batters he has faced.

Offensively, Pete Alonso already has 10 homers. Francisco Lindor had 11 RBI’s through the end of May in 2021. He is already at 24 and counting. Mainstays Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo have been joined by veterans Starling Marte and Mark Canha as the Mets went from being 10th in the National League in batting average in 2021, to ranking third so far this season.

Without deGrom and Scherzer, there could be some tough times ahead, however, the Mets are looking good to top their expected win total of 90½. The Dodgers are the only team with better odds to win the National League pennant than the Mets so, it could be quite the summer in the Big Apple.

Atlanta Braves: 19-22 (+300 to win the division)

After winning just 88 games, the Braves made a surprising run to the World Series title. Atlanta’s bid to defend that title has not gone well.

While Atlanta is second in the National League with 52 homers, the Braves are ahead of only the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL in team batting average. Atlanta has struck out more often than any other team in the National League other than Arizona. When looking at the NL East Quarterly report, the performance by the defending champions has been underwhelming.

The pitching has only been slightly better. Atlanta starters are 16-16 with a 4.28 ERA. Charlie Morton has a 4.95 ERA and Ian Anderson is at 4.07. One can only imagine what the numbers would look like without Kyle Wright who has five of Atlanta’s 13 quality starts. When given the chance, Kenley Jansen has done the job as the closer.

The Braves are only hitting .217 as a team in May so there’s a lot of anxiety in that majority of the betting market that took the over on the Braves’ regular-season win total of 90½, as they’re currently on pace for 77 wins.

Philadelphia Phillies: 19-22 (+500 to win the division)

Preseason bettors threw money hand over fist in support of the Phillies in the preseason and now they’re left scratching their heads. They rank in the top five in the National League in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs and stolen bases, so that has not been the issue.

One problem has been 24 errors — and 135 walks from its pitching staff hasn’t helped.

More was expected from key offseason acquisition Nick Castellanos than a .265 batting average and five homers so far this season. Jean Segura and Bryce Harper have been the best offensive players. Kyle Schwarber does have 10 home runs but a .203 average isn’t the winning edge. J.T. Realmuto is hitting just .224, and Rhys Hoskins carries a .228 average.

Philadelphia has scored 11 more runs than it has given up, and a 3-7 record in one-run games has proved costly. The NL East Quarterly Report would look much better if the Phillies would have won more of those close games. Brad Hand, a 32-year-old lefty, has been a pleasant surprise out of the bullpen, however, it would be hard to find many other positives when it comes to the pitching staff.

Miami Marlins: 18-22 (+2000 to win the division)

Pablo Lopez and Sandy Alcantara are a combined 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA, however, the rest of the starting staff is 6-11 with a 4.80 ERA. These kinds of numbers are not going to get it done.

Trevor Rogers has regressed after posting a 2.64 ERA a season ago. He’ll need to rediscover that form for Miami to make its way up the division standings.

Infielder Jazz Chisholm is doing a little bit of everything but he needs some help.

The Marlins have only five position players and one pitcher 25 or younger, so using youth as as an excuse is no longer viable. Like the Phillies, the Marlins have scored more runs than they have allowed. Miami is 1-10 in one-run games in the month of May, so the Marlins have the chance to turn things around.

One place to start would be improving a .226 batting average with runners in scoring position. They’ll need to to hit their regular-season win total of 76½, as they’re currently underpace at just 73 wins.

Washington Nationals: 14-28 (+50000 to win the division)

Only three years ago the Nationals won the World Series title. Now, the Cincinnati Reds are the only National League team with a worse record than the Nationals!

The departures of Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Max Scherzer haven’t helped. Now, there are trade rumors intensifying around Washington’s 23-year-old superstar Juan Soto.

Despite Soto’s eight home runs, Washington has hit the fewest homers in the National League. Only Colorado has fewer stolen bases among NL teams — Washington doesn’t have the power or speed to build its offense around.

Washington’s 5.58 ERA among its starting rotation is frightening, as are their Major League-leading 95 walks allowed. Compared to the starters, the bullpen has been serviceable. Unlike the other sub .500 teams in the division, there is little reason to expect a turnaround could be coming later in the season.

The MLB sports betting over/under on wins/losses coming into the season was at 71½ wins. At their current pace, the Nationals would finish with 54 wins.

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