It would not be out of line to say that the Boston Red Sox have served up a bit of a surprise this season. A team that didn't even look like it was trying to be competitive last season sits atop the American League East standings.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets, who have started more or less an "all-in" effort to win under new owner Steve Cohen, are the first place team in the National League East as of this writing,although that is not necessarily a badge of honor right now.
These teams will get together on Tuesday night at 7:08 PM ET. The starters are right-hander Garrett Richards for Boston and southpaw David Peterson for the Mets.
The venue is Citi Field, and we've got the winner you can cash in with.
Here is the setup:
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets Preview
Red Sox vs. Mets Predictions
When: 7:08 PM ET (Tuesday)
MLB Betting Odds
Money Line: Mets -140 / Red Sox +120
Total: Over 8.5 Runs -115 / Under 8.5 Runs -105
Run Line: Mets -1.5 Runs (+144) / Red Sox +1.5 Runs (-164)
The Yankees are the team with unlimited money. The Rays made it to the World Series last season. But the Red Sox are now the first-place team in the AL East with a 14-9 record. As the aforementioned teams have disappointed, Boston is three games out in front. And shortstop Xavier Bogaerts has been the guy on fire,with a .366 average.
As for the Mets, as we write this they are the only team in their division over the .500 mark. At 9-8 they are not tearing anything up, and their own shortstop, newcomer Francisco Lindor, was batting .207 with three RBI at last look.
Peterson didn't get to complete four innings last time out. He allowed six runs to the Cubs, but only three of those runs were earned. He was the victim of some substandard defense on the part of his Mets teammates, but sometimes that is to be expected.
The second-year lefty. who had a 3.44 ERA last season, has seen that number jump to 6.75 this year, although of course it's early. Some of his metrics look pretty good, however; he has a ratio of 18 strikeouts to just four walks. In his second start of the year he fanned ten without issuing a free pass against the Phillies, who were actually seeing him for the second time.
Frankly, we'd be a little more worried about Richards, who hasn't been able to get the ball over the plate and is beating himself up trying to find the answer. Richards was great in 2014, with a 13-4 record (2.61 ERA) for the Angels, as he gave up just five homers in 168-2/3 innings.
This year he hasn't found himself. He's walked 13 batters in 16-2/3 innings, with a hard contact percentage of 47.4%. His strikeout percentage of the lowest of his career; his walk percentage is the highest. He has thrown only 58% strikes.
There's been a lot of talk about his delivery and release point. Pitching coach Dave Bush believes it's a "timing" issue, and they've been working on making adjustments.
We're not sure we want to be supporting a guy who is in the middle of trying new things. As a team, the Red Sox bullpen has been pretty strong, with a 1.27 WHIP ratio. But the staff has allowed 19 runs in the first inning.
Between these two, we'd rather be on the side of the Mets, and would probably look for the five-inning prop here as well.
The Play: NY METS (-140)