New York Mets owner Steve Cohen quickly went from being Mad Online to spending like a drunken sailor and adding Mad Max.
As a result, there has been a collective mad dash from sports bettors to put their money on the Amazins’ to win it all.
The Mets added Max Scherzer on a three-year, $130 million deal that includes an opt-out after Year 2, a baseball source confirmed to PlayNY. The deal, which is not yet been made official by the team, includes a full no-trade clause.
Sports bettors used to be able to get the Mets at around +2,000 as far as World Series futures are concerned.
Scherzer addition makes Mets a hot bet
The Mets World Series odds have shifted from +2,000 to +1,100 at BetMGM.
The sportsbook reported that the team is now its leader in terms of handle%, with 26.1% of the money bet on the Mets to win it all. The Mets are now BetMGM’s second-biggest liability, behind only the Angels.
At PointsBet, the Mets went from +1,800 to +1,000. The Mets are also +1,100 at FanDuel, +1,300 at DraftKings and +1,400 at Caesars.
And those odds could only get lower given the team’s offseason activity — which is tough for NY bettors given online sports betting isn’t supposed to be up and running until early 2022 (which very well could come during a lockout).
The Dodgers and Astros have been the favorites at most books, with the White Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays also hanging around as well.
Cohen opens his wallet as Mets upgrade roster
The offseason didn’t start out so hot for the Mets. Billy Eppler wasn’t the team’s first choice as GM, far down the list from coveted executives like Theo Epstein, Billy Beane and David Sterns.
Then Noah Syndergaard left for the Angels for what amounted to $3 million more in salary, and Steven Matz elected to sign with the Cardinals over the Mets, which infuriated Cohen. Feeling like he’d been bamboozled by Matz’s agent, Cohen took to Twitter to vent.
What followed was a massive spending spree, with the Mets adding 30-somethings Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha to bolster their lineup.
Scherzer, with his MLB-record $43.3 million AAV, now pairs with Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation, conceivably giving the team arguably one of the best starting duos in history.
There is still plenty of risk involved
Scherzer’s resume is ridiculous. He’s got eight All-Star teams, three Cy Young awards, two no-hitters (one of them at Citi Field with 17 strikeouts) and a World Series title to his name. But he’s also 37, and had to pitch through a dead arm during last season’s playoffs.
This is a gamble that could certainly pay off. It’s better for the sport — well, maybe not to Phillies’, Braves’ or Nationals’ fans — if it does.
But given deGrom’s own injury history, it also carries significant risk.
Of course, even just bringing in a player of Scherzer’s stature changes how the Mets are viewed throughout baseball. It shows they’re serious about winning. And it adds a much-needed leadership dynamic in the clubhouse.
Mets may not be done
The Mets likely aren’t done making additions, either. They still need at least another starter, among other items on their wish list (and some potential departures as well via trade).
When he bought the team for $2.4 billion, Cohen (net worth of $14 billion) said he wanted to win a title within 3-5 years. Year 1 didn’t go as well. Year 2 figures to go a lot better, assuming the Baseball Gods provide the Mets with a clean bill of health.
That’s no guarantee, but lots of sports bettors are banking on it.