Max Scherzer is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to the New York Mets rotation Tuesday in Cincinnati against the Reds. It’ll be his first appearance in more than a month since suffering a strained oblique on May 18.
If the plan is to ease Scherzer back into action, his return couldn’t come against a better opponent. At 27 wins, the Reds are tied with the Oakland A’s for the fewest in the majors. And their below average offense has been especially futile more recently, striking out at a rate higher than every team but the awful Angels in the last week.
This puts tremendous value on Scherzer’s strikeout prop Tuesday. The line is 7.5, and I’m hammering the over for plus money on Tipico Sportsbook.
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— New York Mets (@Mets) July 5, 2022
A minimum of eight strikeouts is a lot to expect of someone in their first start back from injury, but Scherzer is up to it. He threw 80 pitches in a rehab start last Wednesday, striking out eight in 4.2 innings. The pitch count suggests he’ll be able to work deep against the Reds. The last three starters Cincinnati has faced all tallied at least nine strikeouts, including the Mets’ Taijuan Walker on Monday.
Per SNY, Scherzer said he’ll throw for around six innings and 90 pitches, depending on how he feels. That’s more than enough opportunity.
Max Scherzer finishes his day for @RumblePoniesBB with eight strikeouts in 4 2/3.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 30, 2022
Additionally, and most obviously, Scherzer’s return bolster’s New York’s title chances. The team won the same amount of games in the time it was without him as it did before he was injured. At 20 games over .500, they’re tied for the most wins in the NL and are now getting a three-time Cy Young winner back. And let’s not forget, they have another two-time Cy Young winner who hasn’t even pitched a game this season returning soon in Jacob deGrom.
Their World Series odds can be had at +750 on Tipico, fourth-shortest behind the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers. And we haven’t even seen the full potential of the Mets just yet, adding to the appeal in their futures odds.