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Mets falling below market expectations puts manager at risk

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

May 19, 2019 06:56 PM
© Imagn

A long slump against betting market expectations often foreshadows a firing. Did the recent collapse by the New York Mets send such signals about Mickey Callaway? 

The answer to that is a resounding yes. 

After a horrible weekend in Miami, the Mets had dropped 12 betting units on the season through 45 games. One of the worst marks in the National League and the majors. 

Additional context makes the performance even more embarrassing. It’s one thing to struggle against a difficult schedule. The Mets have played a fairly easy schedule. New York resides in the NL East, baseball’s worst division. Fully 60% of the early slate had come against Miami, Washington, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. When playing “outsiders,” the Mets have managed just .333 ball (a 6-12 record, without even running into the Dodgers, Cubs, or Yankees yet). 

Also, a red-herring 9-4 hot start to the 2019 season has helped hide the magnitude of the recent collapse. Since, New York is 11-21 in the standings, for a loss of 15.5 betting units. 

You can’t spell “plummets” without Mets! This past weekend’s debacle actually accelerated the fall. New York was swept by a Miami team that entered the series with a won-lost record of 10-31. Miami was 2-14 its prior 16 games!

Here’s a quick look at market prices in those losses…

Friday: NYM (-230) lost 8-6 at huge favorites. Break-even for Mets bettors at that price was 70%. This was supposed to be an easy hop over a doormat. 

Saturday: NYM (-125) lost 2-0, managing only one base hit. Miami pitcher Pablo Gomez pitched seven scoreless innings after entering with an ERA of 5.93. That’s one hit…against a struggling starter. 

Sunday: NYM (-190) lost 3-0, getting just two hits. Sandy Alcantara threw a complete game shutout, after entering with an ERA of 5.11. Three runs in 18 innings vs. Miami would be lousy. The Mets managed three hits. 

In betting terms, that’s not an 0-3 record, it’s zero wins and 5.45 losses.

The Mets were outscored 13-6 by a glorified minor league team in a series they were supposed to dominate. 

In situations like this, there’s always a lot of blame to go around. Firing a manager is unlikely to solve all the problems. VSiN’s point today is that this kind of thing typically does signal that a change is coming. Markets define “expectations.” Managers or head coaches who can’t come close to matching expectations aren’t likely to stick around. 

The leash is even shorter when a baseball manager (or football/basketball coach) is early in a new season after a prior disappointment,. In 2018 under Callaway, the Mets went 77-85, dropping six units against the money line. Flying out of Miami Sunday night, Callaway’s Mets were 13 games Under .500 through 207 games, with a net betting loss of 18 units. 

Bettors be aware…after this week’s homestand vs. Washington and Detroit, 32 of New York’s last 38 games before the All-Star Break will come against teams that currently have a winning record. Will oddsmakers be ready? 



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