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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Many of you weren’t even born when the Miracle Mets shocked the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series. That will be 46 years ago this October. Obviously, nobody on the current Mets or Orioles current playing roster was alive back then! This week’s two-game Interleague set will provide a great dose of nostalgia for old-timers, while also looming very large over the 2015 pennant races.

*The NY Mets have surged past the Washington Nationals to grab the lead in the National League East. New York has been having trouble this year on the road (21-34)…and vs. quality teams (15-27 vs. teams at .500 or better…bad news for this road series!). But the schedule is so soft the rest of the way that the Mets are now legitimate frontrunners given the quality of their starting pitching.

*Baltimore has been treading water most of the season…but is now in the thick of the American League Wildcard race because of slumps suffered by the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins. If the playoffs had begun at the end of this past weekend’s action…Baltimore would have been in the brackets!

It may not be World Series intensity…but we’ll definitely have playoff intensity at Camden Yards Tuesday and Wednesday nights in this two-game set. Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicators stats have to say about the matchup…



NY Mets: 3.71 runs per game, .300 on-base, .372 slugging

Baltimore: 4.50 runs per game, .319 on-base, .429 slugging

The differences aren’t quite as extreme as that makes it look. New York plays in the National League where pitchers have to bat. And, they play home games in a pitcher’s park. One you adjust for that, there’s still an offensive edge to the Orioles…particularly in terms of slugging.



Jacob deGrom: 2.03 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 9.3 K-Rate, 6.7 IP-per-Start

Kevin Gausman: 4.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 7.8 K-Rate, 5.4 IP-per-Start

The Mets have won six straight deGrom starts as he continues to post numbers that would have him in the Cy Young discussion most seasons. Only true aces can reach 9+ strikeouts per nine innings while also averaging 6.5+ innings per outing. Though, he is stepping up in class here because the AL is the superior league. Gausman doesn’t have great stats…but he’s thrown quality starts in three of his last four outings. If he can pitch more toward that WHIP and K-rate…while going deeper into games without allowing big blows…the Orioles become a very serious Wildcard contender instead of one by default. Fascinating matchup to handicap because of Gausman’s possible surge and the Mets’ issues with road baseball and superior opposition.



Noah Syndergaard: 3.07 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 9.5 K-Rate, 6.2 IP-per-Start

Ubaldo Jiminez: 3.92 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 8.4 K-Rate, 5.7 IP-per-Start

Big test for Thor, who’s ERA is a disappointing 5.01 on the road (0-5 won-lost record). He’s really taken advantage of a great pitcher’s park at home. But…facing an AL offense on the road could be too much. Ubaldo’s ERA has jumped more than a run over his last seven starts. Analysts knew he had been performing over his head. Can he settle down in time for the playoff chase? Over potential because either pitcher could struggle…or they both could.

Too bad this is only a two-game set! Maybe these teams will meet again in October? That’s obviously a longshot because it’s far from certain both will still be alive. Washington’s unlikely to stay rolled over and buried…while the Orioles may not have the frontline pitching it takes to win down the stretch. For now, it’s fun for old-timers to dream…and for baseball fans to enjoy.

JIM HURLEY just might get involved here. It’s impossible to know until game day lines have settled. You can always purchase game day BEST BETS in all sports right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure to ask about baseball/football combination packages!

It’s back to football tomorrow as we close out our summer series of NFL divisional previews with the resumption of the exhibition slate. Here’s what’s on tap in the NOTEBOOK over the next week…

Wednesday-Thursday: AFC North Preview to get you ready for Cleveland hosting Buffalo

Friday: AFC West Preview to get you ready for Kansas City hosting Seattle

Saturday: NFC South Preview to get you ready for New Orleans hosting New England

Sunday: NFL TV Preview…St. Louis Rams at Tennessee Titans

Monday: NFL TV Preview…Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Bucs

Tuesday: MLB Series Preview…Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants

Isn’t it great to have so much going on in two different sports? We’ll always get you helpful handicapping information here in the NOTEBOOK. Then hook up with WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY for THE BEST BETS ON THE BOARD!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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