Two division leaders clash at Citi Field when the AL East leading Red Sox try to fix their leaky pitching, while the NL East leading Mets look to continue their momentum. Who will come out on top in this highly touted contest? Read on for an analysis of this matchup and a free pick, courtesy of SBR.
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Mets
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Citi Field
The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox will both enter Tuesday’s two-game series at Citi Field as division leaders, but that’s where the similarities end.
Boston is the surprise leader in the American League East with the second-best run differential in the American League and third best in baseball. The Sox are coming off a weekend series win over Seattle, but they had to overcome some very shaky pitching in order to escape with the win.
The Mets were expected to contend in the National League East and find themselves a game ahead of the Phillies atop the division. They’re coming off a series win over the Nationals this past weekend.
The Mets are just a game over .500 though, and they’ve been outscored by 11 runs this season. Eleven teams in the National League have a better run differential.
Back to Earth?
Despite low preseason expectations, the Red Sox jumped out to a fast start this year. The team needs to show it can sustain that pace, however. Boston just completed a 5-5 homestand and now hits the road, opening with a two-game interleague series against the Mets. On the bright side, the Red Sox have been far better on the road, posting a 6-1 record away from Fenway in the opening month.
Boston may have won two of three over Seattle, but the Sox raised more red flags over the series, particularly on the mound. Red Sox pitchers had a 5.00 ERA over the weekend, with 1.370 WHIP. They gave up two home runs, hit two batters and threw two wild pitches. Starters were even shakier, allowing a 5.17 ERA with 1.404 WHIP.
Speaking of shaky starters, Boston sends Garrett Richards out on Tuesday. He’s 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA this season and walked six in 4.2 innings against Toronto in his last start, the most he’s allowed in a game since 2013. He’s been working with pitching coach Dave Bush on his release point.
“He’s trying to take command of his delivery a little bit, just to find some more consistency,” Bush said. “The other day, he just felt off a little bit. His timing wasn’t quite right. He always throws across his body. He always has, it’s big stuff. The command comes and goes. When he gets his command dialed in, he’s really consistent with his left lift, I think it syncs up and times up much better so that’s been the focus of our work in the bullpen between starts.”
Boston’s lineup could take a hit. Outfielder Alex Verdugo, who is hitting .448 in his last eight games, missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring cramp. The team might leave him out of the series opener as a precaution, so keep an eye out for the final lineups when heading to betting sites.
“With a lefty on Tuesday, maybe like, stay away from him again,” Verdugo said.
The Mets are also coming off a 5-5 stretch and won two of three over the weekend, but New York is far happier with where it sits. The Mets had two shutouts in the three games and feel like that gives them momentum as Boston comes to town.
“It was a point of opportunity for us to go into the off-day, win a series and get ready for Boston,” J.D. Davis said. “I think everybody did their part.”
Davis moved to cleanup on Sunday, up two spots from his normal position in the order, as manager Luis Rojas shuffled the lineup and found a spark. Pete Alonso moved from No. 4 to No. 2. The pair went 4-for-6 with two home runs.
“It worked,” Rojas said. “It’s a fun part of the game. These are the kinds of things you prepare for as a manager, as a coach, and even the players. … It is gratifying when you see it work.”
The Mets start David Peterson, who is 1-2, with a 6.75 ERA. Peterson gave up six runs in 3.1 innings in his last start. He beat the Red Sox in his MLB debut last July.
The Mets are in a better frame of mind entering the series. Boston isn’t happy with how things have been going, and Richards is looking for answers on the mound. For your MLB Picks, look for the Mets to get a win in the series opener.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.