The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox are two big-market franchises who enter a pivotal Monday matchup already in a hole amid the young, abbreviated 2020 MLB season.
Each club sports a 1-2 count — that is, an identical losing record. Since it's only a 60-game schedule, that's more cause for alarm than usual, especially since both those defeats came in divisional contests.
Who will break back to .500? Get a better feel for the game with abe Insights' betting preview, which breaks down the main wagers, provides the best odds available and features advanced stats to help you gain intel on this showdown.
Date: Monday, July 27
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Implied Probabilities: Mets 51%; Red Sox 49%
Spread: NYM -1.5 (+135); BOS +1.5 (-145)
Moneyline: NYM -105; BOS +104
Despite losing Mookie Betts and David Price to a trade, the Red Sox have enough roster firepower to make the postseason. Unfortunately, they're also dealing with Alex Cora's abrupt firing in January for his participation in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal.
Current Sox skipper Ron Roenicke will start reliever Josh Osich on the mound Monday against Michael Wacha, who spent the prior seven seasons in St. Louis. The Mets have a banged-up rotation with Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard down, pressing Wacha into duty.
5.6 vs. 0.7: This first stat showdown is the WAR for each bullpen from 2019. The Red Sox really were superior (5th in MLB), as New York's relievers cost the team a playoff berth, ranking 24th. The Mets' offseason signing of Dellin Betances will hopefully help.
6.04 vs. 0.21: FanGraphs' Win Probability Added numbers from this past year show New York has an edge in its batting order overall. Plus, Boston is without Betts, who was second to Xander Bogaerts with a 3.84 individual total in this category.
72.3 vs. 69.6: Over the course of last year, the Mets and Sox ranked second and eighth respectively in percentage of pitches in the strike zone swung at. This shows how both lineups have solid plate discipline and keen eyes at the plate, which could spell trouble for both sides' suspect pitching.
It isn't just that the Sox and Mets have stumbled out of the gates after both winning on Opening Day. It's how it happened for both. Boston got sloppy early in the past two contests against the lowly Orioles, and couldn't muster enough of a rally either time to avoid defeat.
As for New York, if there was any greater, stark reminder its pitching isn't in great shape, look no further than Sunday night's 14-1 blowout loss to the Braves. Rick Porcello got tagged for seven runs (six earned) in two innings of work. Ouch.
Through three games, the Mets have scored only five runs. Last year's home run champion and NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso has one hit in 11 at bats. Presumably, New York has few places to go but up.
Boston really needs its bullpen to come through, too, because it doesn't have much of a starting staff to speak of. The unit was solid after poor starts against Baltimore, yet relying on the pen for an entire night is dicey. Alas, the Red Sox don't have much of a choice right now.
When it came to covering the run line in 2019, Boston was second-worst in all of baseball. According to TeamRankings.com, they had a 69-93 spread record. Operating with that data in mind, look for bettors to go in on the Mets -1.5, especially with appealing +135 odds.
The moneyline tells us this one is pretty much a coin flip. For those who want to wager on the more rewarding payout on the spread, either outright winning bet has sound logic. Boston is a decent hedge play, and New York is a double-down situation.
Definitely look for betting action to work toward the Over 11.5 — despite that being a seriously high total. Alonso is due to feast at the dish, and the Red Sox are bound to be aggressive in rallying from two disappointing outings versus the Orioles.
Note: Odds current as of 1:25 p.m. ET on Monday, July 27.
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