Last week the New York Mets seemed like an ocean liner headed toward an iceberg. The collision and subsequent carnage seemed inevitable. That splashing sound was fans jumping off their favorite team’s ship. Another dysfunctional offseason seemed in store for this once-proud franchise.
How quickly things can change.
Only six days after he sent an angry tweet complaining about being jilted by the agent for pitcher Steven Matz, team owner Steven Cohen opened his vault and paid to bring not one, bot two, but four free agents, including his white whale, Max Scherzer.
Mets fans are mostly delighted, but oddsmakers seem to be over the moon for Cohen’s moves. They’ve adjusted their World Series futures market to make the Mets one of the favorites to hoist the trophy next season.
As of Tuesday, FanDuel Sportsbook has the Mets at +1100 to win the 2022 World Series, the same odds as the White Sox, who won 16 more games than New York last season. DraftKings has the Mets at +1300, which is better odds than they have for the Braves to repeat as World Champions (+1400). BetMGM Sportsbook has the Mets listed at +1100 — the same as the crosstown Yankees and better than the Rays and Braves. Only two teams, the Dodgers and Astros, are listed at shorter odds to win the 2022 World Series than the Mets at BetMGM.
Mets Sports Betting Futures Odds
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Scherzer Signing Is A Gamble
Scherzer and the Mets agreed to a three-year $130 million contract this week. Under that deal, the right-handed pitcher will be earning big checks in his age 38, 39, and 40 seasons.
That makes little sense, even with Mad Max coming off a fine season where he posted the lowest ERA of his career. The problem isn’t quality, it’s quantity. In 2020 and 2021, the aging Scherzer has averaged 17 outs per game. That figure will only decrease as he gets greyer on the chin. Plus, Scherzer complained of a “dead arm” last postseason when he was a hired arm for the Dodgers.
“Dead arm” can quickly turn into “Tommy John Surgery” for a pitcher with 2,500 innings and more than 3,000 strikeouts on his shoulder. Look no further than Justin Verlander to see an example of what happens as a pitcher wears down in his late 30s.
Mr. Cohen can spend his hard-earned money any way he wishes. But, giving a soon-to-be 38-year-old pitcher with a “dead arm” the largest annual average salary in baseball history is a cap-scratching decision. Even the best-case scenario seems like Scherzer making 25-30 starts per season while averaging about five innings per. $130 million is a lot of cash to give to a five-inning pitcher.
Flush With Outfielders in Flushing
Some people get a new television on Black Friday. The Mets got three position players, each of whom should see lots of action in the lineup in 2022.
New York inked free agent outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, as well as infielder extraordinaire Eduardo Escobar to deals last week. The moves bolster a lineup that ranked 13th in runs scored, 10th in on-base percentage, and 12th in slugging percentage last season.
Canha is a rarity for the Mets — a patient hitter who can hit to all fields and still has power. Escobar plays third base, second base, and even shortstop. He will serve as a Swiss Army Knife-style piece for a new yet-to-be-named manager.
Marte is a former All-Star and Gold Glove winner who can play left field or center field. He batted .310 last year in a season split between two teams. He spent most of his career with Pittsburgh, where he was once a stolen base threat. Last season he swiped 47 bags. He gives the Mets a veteran outfielder who really has no weakness.
If there’s any reason to pause the euphoria, it’s age. Marte, Canha, and Escobar are all coming off their age 32 seasons.
When Can You Bet on the Mets in New York?
New York has named the nine mobile sportsbook platforms that will operate in the state, but it has yet to announce a date for a statewide launch. It is expected, however, that it will come to New York in early 2022, in plenty of time for baseball season.
Once the state launches online sports betting, fans can bet on Scherzer and Marte, and any other Met they want. Want to plunk down money on Jacob deGrom to win the 2022 Cy Young? Odds will be out by spring training.