Jacob deGrom had his worst start of the season on Tuesday night. He gave up three runs over six innings. For the rest of MLB, that would be considered a quality start. However, deGrom is different.
The New York Mets pitcher won the NL Cy Young in 2018 and 2019. He finished third in voting during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020. Injuries have taken him out of the running for the award the last two seasons, but he had a 1.08 ERA over 15 starts last season and currently has a 2.01 ERA through eight starts this year. When healthy, it's almost impossible to argue there's a better pitcher in baseball.
With all of that being said, it might seem like a good idea to bet the Mets to win every time deGrom is on the mound. However, the opposite is true.
Fading deGrom is extremely profitable
DeGrom was on the mound for the Mets on Tuesday. The Mets were playing the Chicago Cubs, who entered the game 23 games under .500. New York was a -455 favorite. Despite striking out 10 batters, deGrom wasn't his dominant self, the Mets gave him no run support and New York lost the game by a score of 4-1. This was the biggest upset of the MLB season to date.
Overall, since 2018, deGrom has a 1.94 ERA. However, the Mets are just 52-47 in his 99 appearances over the past five seasons. Bettors who have wagered $100 on the Mets' opponent in each of deGrom's starts over this time period are up $2,055.
The Mets are 5-3 in deGrom's starts this season. Despite the winning record, if you've bet $100 against deGrom in every start this season, you'd be up $250.
How to proceed?
First and foremost, it's a bit ridiculous how unlucky deGrom has been in his starts in recent history. Over the past five years, he's been hard-pressed to receive run support and the bullpen has blown plenty of games for him. If you're pitching to a sub-2.00 ERA, your team should not be hovering around .500 in your starts.
The Mets have a 52.53% winning percentage over deGrom's starts since 2018. With that winning percentage, laying anything more than -110 on the moneyline would be unprofitable. Of course, deGrom is a massive favorite in most of his starts. The Mets were -455 last night. On most nights, deGrom is a -200 favorite or higher.
While fading deGrom might be a scary proposition, there's no denying that he's overpriced by oddsmakers. If you've been fading the Mets in his starts the last five seasons, you're up a pretty penny.
Of course, once we get into the playoffs, the Mets and deGrom will be facing better teams so the odds won't be as ridiculous on a game-by-game basis. Maybe at that point, it'll be more appealing to back deGrom. Until then, you have to either fade him or stay away.
The Mets are +500 to win the World Series. Those odds are tied for third best with the Yankees. Only the Dodgers and Astros have better odds.