Game: New York Mets at Boston Red Sox
Time: 7:10 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Marcus Stroman vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Odds: Mets +125, Red Sox -135
Oh, the Mets. At one point this season, the Mets led the NL East. Then came the disaster of a second half. The Mets are 3-7 in their last ten games and sit at 73-77 heading into tonight’s game with Boston. That the Mets are six games out of first place and still have a chance to make the postseason is nothing short of a miracle. That’s what makes this quick two-game series with Boston even more important. The Mets have 12 games left in order to make a final move.
New York will definitely have a shot tonight as they put Marcus Stroman on the mound for his MLB-leading 32nd start. Stroman has become the ace of the Mets lineup since the team lost Jacob deGrom at the All-Star break. Stroman continues to pitch deep into games which, at the very least, gives the Mets an opportunity to win.
Their weak-hitting lineup doesn’t always take advantage as can be seen by Stroman’s 9-12 record for the season. He truly is one of the elite pitchers in the league this season with an overall ERA of 2.88, which ranks eighth in MLB.
Stroman will square off against Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who does not have an elite ERA. Rodriguez has had his share of ups and downs this season and sports a 5.00 ERA. His record, however, is 11-8 as he is backed by a strong hitting lineup. Stroman beat Tampa Bay on Sept. 2 with a strong six-inning performance then came back in his next start, also against the Rays, and gave up six earned runs in 3.2 innings. That’s the story of Rodriguez’s 2021 season.
What Rodriquez has that Stroman doesn’t is the backing of a team that can hit and score. Boston is fourth in the majors in run production averaging 5.14 runs per game. The Mets rank 28th (3.95) better than only Texas (3.85) and Pittsburgh (3.69). The Red Sox rank in the top ten in a number of offensive statistical categories including OPS where they are third (.777).
This two-game set is also important for Boston as the Red Sox continue to maintain a hold on the AL’s No. 1 wild card. Boston (86-65) has a 1.5-game lead over Toronto in the wild card race. Unlike the Mets, the Red Sox are 7-3 in their last ten games, including wins in their last five straight games. In each of those last five games, the Red Sox have scored seven or more runs.
As a result of their recent scoring spurt, Boston has watched the Over hit in five of their last six games. Despite the Mets difficulties in scoring, the Over has hit in six of their last nine games even though New York is just 1-5 straight up in their last six. The Over is 3-1-1 in Stroman’s last five starts but is 8-3-1 in his last 12.