New York Mets Pitcher Noah Syndergaard is nicknamed Thor, after the Marvel comic book hero. This season, the lanky Texan has definitely earned the nickname. If he continues performing like this all season, the Mets online MLB sportsbook odds of winning the World Series will significantly improve.
After last season’s impressive rookie debut, Syndergaard worked on his game some more and it shows with the way he has performed so far this year. In his season debut against the Kansas City Royals, Syndergaard pitched six innings, struck out nine batters and didn’t allow a run. The Mets went on to win the game 2-0.
In his second start of the year, Syndergaard pitched another gem. He struck out 12 batters and allowed one run in seven innings, but he finished with a no decision because the team lost 2-1.
In his two starts, Syndergaard has allowed 10 hits and one run in 1 innings. He also struck out 21 batters and walked one batter in the two starts.
What makes Syndergaard start to the season even more impressive is the fact that his strikeouts haven’t been gifts from umpires with generous strike zones. Syndergaard made 16 batters swing for strikes against the Kansas City Royals, which is an impressive feat against a team that rarely chases the ball.
Although people have been impressed by his performance this season, his dominance shouldn’t be that surprising. Syndergaard entered last season with a lot of hype because he was a highly rated prospect. The fact that he struck out 166 batters while walking only 31 batters and finished the season with a 3.24 ERA, was an indication of things to come.
What should be surprising to people is how quickly he has gone from a highly rated prospect to a pitcher that is expected to be in the Cy Young Award race this season.
Last season, Syndergaard impressed a lot of people with his 97.1 mile per hour fastball, which was the best among qualified pitchers. Against the Royals, his fastball’s average speed was 98.5 miles per hour, and against the Marlins, it was just a little under 99 miles per hour.
Industry experts like MLB.com’s Mike Petriello believe the reason Syndergaard throws with so much power is because of his height, which allows the fastballs to reach the plate faster than any other pitcher last season.
In addition to his fastball, Syndergaard’s changeup has been equally devastating. His changeup is averaging 90 miles per hour, and almost as unhittable as his fastball.
Another thing batters have to worry about is the fact that Syndergaard has been working on his slider, and it has significantly improved from last year. Against the Royals, a quarter of his pitches were sliders, which the Royals batters couldn’t get a grip on. When he faced Kendrys Morales, his slider registered at 95 miles per hour.
Mets third baseman David Wright said he looked up at the scoreboard and saw Syndergaard’s pitches going 94 and 95 miles per hour, so he asked catcher Travis d’Arnaud what pitches Syndergaard was throwing. The catcher told him they were sliders and Wright said he couldn’t believe it.
Even though Syndergaard has performed better than expected since he made his MLB debut, it is still too early to proclaim him the next great pitcher. If he wins the Cy Young or leads the team to another World Series, then we can start talking.