Edwin Diaz fired another dominant shutout inning for the Mets on Sunday night, striking out all three Braves hitters he faced en route to his third save of the series.
The three saves this week brought Diaz’s season-long total up to 26, which is good for third in MLB. Given his recent performance, it’s fair to wonder whether Diaz may be a good bet to end the year as the saves leader.
Like with most statistical categories, Vegas sportsbooks provide us an opportunity to place bets on MLB futures. That means long-term future outcomes like World Series champion or home run leader or saves leader. Below, I’ll break down why I think betting on Edwin Diaz might be a smart play, as well as go over a few other candidates to take the saves crown.
If you like any of those bets, make sure to signup for a sportsbook using one of our promos at the bottom of this article for even more money in your account.
First, let’s look at the current betting odds for MLB saves leader.
Edwin Diaz +2000 (Bet $100 to win $2,000)
As we’ve covered here a number of times, and really anybody who watches the Mets knows, Edwin Diaz is on another level this year. On the season, he has STATS.
However, his performance looks even better if you just consider recent numbers. Since June 1st, Diaz is 2nd in baseball with 14 saves, while also registering a 0.38 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, and absolutely insane strikeout minus walk ratio (K-BB5) of 57.1%. To put that in perspective, the next-best qualified reliever is Andres Muñoz, who has a K-BB% of 38.4% of that stretch.
The idea that Edwin Diaz has been the best reliever in baseball from a talent and production standpoint is a fairly obvious one. However, in order for him to accrue saves, the Mets have to both win games and win games within a margin of three runs or less, so just being good won’t get Diaz to win us this bet.
What helps is that, over the same span from June 1st on, the Mets are 18th in baseball with 254 runs scored. While that may not be what Mets fans want to read, it actually helps when it comes to this bet. If the Mets continue to be a good but not elite offense then Diaz should have more opportunities for saves and given the level of performance we just discussed, that makes me feel good about placing a bet on Diaz at these odds.
Josh Hader -250 (Bet $250 to win $100)
Another thing that makes me feel good about betting on Diaz is the recent performance of Josh Hader. Hader should still be considered the frontrunner given the fact that he has a three saves lead over Diaz and is pitching for a playoff contender in the San Diego Padres, but the lefty has struggled of late.
Since June 1st, Hader has a 7.85 ERA and has allowed 3.44 HR/9. However, he does have a 2.41 xFIP and still has a 33.7% K-BB%, which is 5th-best in baseball, so the home runs do feel a bit flukey.
The Padres were using lefty Taylor Rogers as their exclusive closer before trading for Hader, so there is no reason to believe the team won’t simply slide Hader into that primary closer role. As a result, he should still be in line for plenty of saves, but the bet on Diaz is one based on performance, belief in the Mets, and far more favorable odds. Betting on Hader at -250 here just doesn’t seem worth it.
Jordan Romano +2500 (Bet $100 to win $2,500)
Jordan Romano is another longshot option. He’s currently fourth in MLB with 25 saves, one behind Diaz and four behind Hader. He also pitches for a team that’s scored the second-most runs in baseball since June 1st so there is ample opportunity for wins.
However, that offense can also work against Romano. After exploding out of the gate with 10 saves in April and another six in May, Romano had just one in June because Toronto was winning games by too large a margin. Since June 1st, he has just nine saves and a 2.11 ERA but a mediocre 16.7% K-BB%.
Yet, even without elite swing-and-miss stuff, Romano has proven to be good enough to close out games consistently when Toronto gives him the chance. He rattled off saves in six of seven appearances to end July, including three saves in four days, which shows just how quickly he can shoot up the saves leaderboard.
Considering his odds are not that much different than Diaz’s, I’d rather place a bet on the Mets closer, but Romano is a better bet than one of the players currently listed ahead of him.
Taylor Rogers +150 (Bet $100 to win $150)
Despite the odds seeming to suggest that Rogers is a good bet to lead MLB in saves, I am fading this pretty easily. Not only is Rogers in a less favorable spot for saves now that he’s sharing closing duties with Devin Williams in Milwaukee, but Rogers was really struggling of late, which is what prompted San Diego to remove him from the closer’s role before they traded for Hader.
Since June 1st, Rogers has a 7.17 ERA with a 3.56 xFIP. Much of that has come with bad luck since he was giving up a .431 batting average on balls in play, but Rogers’ 11.9% swinging strike rate was also 100th among qualified relievers over that span, so he simply wasn’t missing any bats.
With his team situation changing and his performance inconsistent, I just don’t see how you can bet on Rogers with these odds.
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