Probably no team has been hit harder this season by injuries than the New York Mets, but they still are atop the NL East Division despite just a 21-20 record. Tuesday at Citi Field, the team will get some good injury news as two-time NL Cy Young winner and 2021 betting favorite Jacob deGrom will return from the injured list to start against a bad Colorado Rockies squad. The Mets are heavy favorites on the MLB odds at William Hill Sportsbook.
DeGrom has been dealing with a side injury and missed two turns through the rotation. He was 3-2 with a 0.68 ERA with 65 strikeouts and just 17 hits allowed in 40 innings this season. His last big-league start was May 9 vs. Arizona. The right-hander made a rehab start for the Mets' low Class A affiliate last Thursday, striking out eight without allowing a walk in three scoreless innings. He then threw a bullpen session Sunday with no problems.
Mets manager Luis Rojas didn't mention if deGrom would be on a pitch count.
"We want to see how the game goes. He's gonna tell us going through the game, going inning by inning," Rojas said. "And that's it. That's going to be the feel for the decision when he's coming out."
Despite missing a few weeks, he remains the clear-cut -125 betting favorite at William Hill to win a third Cy Young Award. The only other pitcher below +1500 is Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes at +425.
In his career against Colorado, deGrom is 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA in eight starts with 70 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. He won in Denver on April 17 in a doubleheader game, allowing three runs with 14 strikeouts – including nine in a row at one point, one shy of the MLB record -- over six innings to earn the victory. His 1.12 ERA against the Rockies is the lowest against any opponent with a minimum of five starts. He's 3-1 in five starts against the Rockies at Citi Field with a 0.75 ERA.
Much of the Mets' everyday lineup is on the injured list: First baseman and former NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, second baseman Jeff McNeil, third baseman JD Davis and outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. Things are so bad that catcher James McCann made his first career start at first base Monday in New York's 3-2 loss to the Rockies.
Also on the IL are starting pitchers Taijuan Walker, Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard, and relievers Dellin Betances and Seth Lugo. Syndergaard is on track for a mid-June return from Tommy John surgery that cost him all of last season.
Colorado is expected to start lefty Kyle Freeland in his season debut. A left shoulder strain that he sustained on March 23 during a spring training game has kept him sidelined. Freeland was one of the NL's best pitchers in 2018 with a 17-7 record and 2.85 ERA but has never gotten back to that level. He was 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA last year.
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