After essentially trading Jacob DeGrom for Justin Verlander, how did the move affect the New York Mets’ World Series odds for 2023?
The wild weekend for NY’s National League team started Friday night when it was announced that Jacob DeGrom would be joining the Texas Rangers on a five-year, $185 million deal.
While Mets fans were understandably upset to lose one of their aces, the Rangers paid a steep price for someone who made 11 starts in 2022 after missing a calendar year due to injuries from July 2021 to ’22.
The Mets didn’t go without a co-ace for Max Scherzer for long, however.
On Monday, the team reportedly agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with Justin Verlander, who won the 2022 American League Cy Young Award. Verlander, who rejoins Scherzer from their days with the Detroit Tigers, will be 40 going into next season but bounced back tremendously from Tommy John surgery, winning his third Cy Young of his career and second World Series title with the Houston Astros last month.
Mets World Series Odds Improve Slightly
After leading the National League East for nearly all of the 2021 season, the Mets were swept in a three-game series in Atlanta to fall to a Wild Card spot. New York then dropped a three-game Wild Card series to the San Diego Padres to send them home from the playoffs early. In those crucial six games that saw NY go 1-5, DeGrom had the only win, but he had two poor starts prior to that playoff effort. Scherzer also lost his final two starts of the year.
That would suggest that the Mets still need to beef up their pitching, even though they also resigned closer Edwin Diaz. The experts seem to agree.
Nonetheless, it appears the switch from DeGrom to Verlander slightly improved the Mets’ World Series odds.
New York opened the offseason at +1000 at most NY sportsbooks. After the swapping of aces in recent days, that number is at +900. Additionally, the Astros have held pat despite losing Verlander, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped slightly after losing Trea Turner to Philadelphia, and the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees are still in flux while the free-agency fates of Darby Swanson and Aaron Judge are sorted out.
Here’s a look at the current odds via FanDuel.
|CURRENT ODDS TO WIN 2023 WORLD SERIES
|ODDS TO START OFFSEASON
|Los Angeles Dodgers
|New York Mets
|New York Yankees
Mets Slightly Better off With Verlander Over DeGrom?
The odds suggest the Mets are slightly better with the AL Cy Young winner on their side for 2023. The numbers in 2022 would back that up–even with DeGrom’s smaller sample.
Verlander led the league in ERA and also had the highest K/9 ratio of all starters who qualified (DeGrom didn’t qualify due to not throwing enough innings). The biggest thing for the Mets is that Verlander was dominant in a year after elbow reconstruction surgery.
DeGrom missed a year without having surgery. Plus, after improving to 5-1 after his seventh start, he fell off a bit, allowing at least three runs in each of his last four regular-season starts. He struck out more than 10 batters in three of those outings, but he also gave up seven home runs in those four contests.
For two aging pitchers who have recently had injury concerns, it seems like it’s better that the Mets are only on the hook for Verlander’s two-year deal instead of DeGrom’s five-year pact with Texas. And the oddsmakers agree that it makes the Mets slightly better on the field as well.