The New York Mets’ struggles against inferior teams at Citi Field continued on Tuesday in a 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. Carlos Carrasco lasted just three innings and allowed four runs in his second-straight ineffective start.

Pete Alonso’s 40th home run of the season was the lone bright spot for New York in Tuesday’s loss. Alonso’s blast, which briefly cut the deficit to 4-3, made history since the first baseman is now the only Met to hit 40 home runs in more than a single season. But now is not the time of year for individual accomplishments.

Since Sept. 2, the Mets are are just 5-6 at home against Washington, the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, and now Miami at home–all teams that have been out of the playoff race for months. From Aug. 4-Sept. 1 in a stretch that included 11 home games against Atlanta, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York was 14-4 in Queens.

Atlanta, meanwhile, is 11-3 against teams with losing records since Sept. 1. Quite simply, the Braves are handling their business better than the Mets, and after Tuesday’s 8-2 win at Washington, the teams are now in a flat-footed tie in the National League East with seven games to go.

Mets’ NL East Odds Drop Dramatically, but Still Favored

Going into play on Tuesday with a one-game advantage in the NL East, the Mets were favored by as much as 4:1. After just one day, those odds shifted dramatically.

NL East WinnerBetMGMDraftKingsPointsBet
New York Mets-185-170-200
Atlanta Braves+150+140+160

Why Are the Mets Still Favored?

Atlanta seems to have the momentum and will be hosting the Mets for three games this weekend (though when that series will be played remains in question with bad weather from Hurricane Ian in play).

Even though the Mets will be the visitors, they do have two things working for them.

The first is this weekend’s pitching matchup.

While Friday’s matchup favors Atlanta, New York will definitely be the betting favorite on Sunday night and could be on Saturday as well.

Don’t sleep on Chris Bassitt, however, on Friday. In two starts against the Braves, Bassitt has allowed a combined four runs in 13 innings and picked up a victory at Truist Park on July 13 by going six innings and allowing just one run. Since Aug. 3, Bassitt has also won eight of his last nine decisions.

The second factor playing in New York’s favor is the potential tiebreaker. There will be no one-game playoff for a division tie this year. Instead, the tiebreaker will be set via head-to-head record. The Mets need to win just one of the three games against Atlanta this weekend to secure that tiebreaker, so one win this weekend will essentially count as two in the standings.

Because of that, New York has a 63% chance to win the division even though the teams are tied.

The bottom line: while there are scenarios where the Mets can clinch by not winning this weekend’s series, with the way both teams have performed against lesser opponents this month, it feels like New York will need to take two of three this weekend and then really can’t afford more than one more loss in the remaining four games–tonight vs. Miami or next Monday-Wednesday vs. Washington.
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