The Empire Slate: Mets Partner With Jackpocket

The Mets hope Jacob deGrom's return isn't set back too far by shoulder soreness
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The Mets this week announced a new partnership with Jackpocket, a company whose app allows people to buy lottery tickets digitally. New York is among the nine states (along with Washington, D.C.) where Jackpocket is available.

Lottery purchasers in any of those locales can use the code “LGM” at checkout to receive a free lottery ticket from Jackpocket. The company is also running a promotion in which fans can win trips to road games that include airfare, hotel accommodations and game-day tickets for two guests. The company said in a press release it also is planning to host giveaways of officially licensed Mets memorabilia.

The Mets are Jackpocket’s fourth MLB partner, joining the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and Colorado Rockies. Jackpocket also has partnership deals with NFL and NHL teams..

“Partnering with the Mets has been a dream of mine, especially as a baseball fan,” Jackpocket founder and CEO Peter Sullivan said in a statement. “New Yorkers love the lottery and Jackpocket is always looking for ways to meet players where they are.”

The Mets, whose season resumes Friday with a home game against the Padres, will begin playing a Jackpocket commercial before each of their home games at Citi Field and provide Jackpocket with full in-stadium advertising on their LED ribbon board. For the Mets, it’s another stream of revenue and another way to engage with their fans.

“As we look more and more to digital-first solutions and moments to engage with our fanbase, the New York Mets are proud to partner with Jackpocket, an institution that’s trailblazing the digital lottery space,” said Brian Fling, vice president of partnerships for the Mets. “This partnership cements our dedication to exploring new ways for fans to get excited on game day and beyond.”

The Mets, if you hadn’t already noticed, are all-in on games of chance this season, as are most U.S. sports teams in states with legalized sports betting. They previously announced a long-term partnership deal to make Caesars their official sportsbook and they continue to push to acquire a license to build one of the three new downstate casinos next to Citi Field.

Yankees so-so record ATS

Despite having the best record in baseball, the Yankees haven’t necessarily been a big money maker for people who bet on them consistently, particularly if they’re looking for decent value. The sportsbooks tend to be wary of New York teams and might bake a little protection for themselves into the odds, because of the massive volume of wagering coming from the Empire State and fans of its teams scattered across the country.

The Yankees are 45-47 against the spread (or run line) this season, according to The Action Network, which ranks 16th in the majors despite an overall record of 64-28 as they resume their season with Thursday’s doubleheader against the Houston Astros.

Baseball betting, of course, works differently than, say, NFL wagering, because the spread/run line is always the same — the favored team is -1.5 runs — while many people instead bet the moneyline, in which the team simply needs to win for the player to cash a ticket.

Most of the best teams on the run line are those that have outperformed preseason expectations. The Orioles, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Red Sox and Mariners (riding a 14-game winning streak) lead the way, followed by the Pirates and Mets.

deGrom setback could be matter of weeks

No matter how much the Mets insist Jacob deGrom’s latest setback is minor, the fact he is experiencing shoulder soreness will worry Mets fans about the impact he can have on their second-half World Series push. Worrying, after all, seems to be a Mets fan specialty.

We should know more after deGrom’s simulated game on Thursday, but MLB.com reporter Anthony diComo tweeted that the setback could push deGrom’s return back to early August, and that presumes he has no further issues in his rehab.

DeGrom has yet to throw a pitch in a major league game this season after he was diagnosed with a right scapula stress reaction shortly before Opening Day. The latest setback is a bit of a bummer, at a minimum, because of how dominant deGrom had been in his minor-league rehab starts, in which he was clocked in the triple digits and absolutely dominated the competition. Pairing deGrom with fellow Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — a good summation of the Mets’ off-season approach — has yet to happen.

The Mets remain the No. 4 choice to win the World Series, with +700 odds at most of the New York books (though FanDuel is offering them at +800). The Mets are the No. 2 choice behind the Dodgers to win the NL at +320 (at DraftKings) and are -190 to win the NL East. They have a 2.5-game lead over the Braves.

Buffalo Bulls look for bounceback season

This past Wednesday is often referred to as the slowest day of the sports — and sports betting — calendar in the U.S., because baseball remains in the All-Star break and none of the other three major sports are in action. Ah, but busier days are on the horizon, with the college football schedule to kick off in a little over a month.

One local team to track is Buffalo, whose preseason win total is set at just 5.5 (at DraftKings). We’re all MAC fans, right, considering the conference gives us the opportunity to wager on and watch a game on a Tuesday or Wednesday night in the fall?

Buffalo is in year two under coach Maurice Linguist and has one of the best receivers in the conference in Quian Williams. The Bulls had some things going for them before Lance Leipold bolted for a better gig at Kansas, having qualified for three straight bowl games before last season.

Look for Buffalo to have a good chance to hit that over, though we have to point out — for the umpteenth time — that you can’t legally bet on New York college teams inside state lines.

Photo: Shutterstock

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