When Johan Santana takes the mound tonight for his no-hitter follow-up start he’ll be coming off back-to-back complete-game shutouts and working on two extra days of rest without a limited pitch count. And he’ll also be an underdog on the road against the Yankees and Hiroki Kuroda.
Las Vegas has set the Yankees as -145 favorites tonight, which means you must bet $145 to win $100 on them and puts their expected winning percentage at 59.2. That also means the Mets are +135 underdogs, which means you can win $135 on a $100 bet and puts their expected winning percentage at 42.5.
So even when the Mets and Yankees have nearly the same record and the Mets have a two-time Cy Young winner on the mound coming off a no-hitter and back-to-back shutouts the Yankees are still solid favorites at home behind a starter with a 4-6 record and 3.82 ERA.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: