The Boston Red Sox hold a 1.5-game lead for the first AL Wild Card spot with two weeks to play, but Boston has little breathing room as the Blue Jays, Yankees, A's and Mariners are all hot on its tail in fighting for one of the last two postseason spots.
The New York Mets are basically out of the playoffs, thanks to two straight series losses, but they’ll look to play spoiler in a huge series at Fenway. MLB betting odds are siding with the team that needs the win more, as Boston is sitting as a -145 favorite in the series opener, with the Over/Under sitting at 9.5.
Here are our best free Mets vs. Red Sox picks and predictions for Tuesday, September 21, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Mets vs Red Sox game info
• Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
• Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
• Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
• TV: SNY, NESN
Mets vs Red Sox odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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Mets vs Red Sox betting preview
Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.88 ERA): Stroman has been one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball this season. He’s lost 12 games but has given the Mets a shot to win in mostly all of them, as the chances of getting a quality start out of Stroman are usually high. He’s thrown five QS in his last six outings, but the Mets are just 3-3 in those games, and Stroman gained just one win from his efforts.
Eduardo Rodriguez (11-8, 5.00 ERA): You don’t often see a pitcher with a 5.00 ERA favored over a pitcher with an ERA below 3.00... but here we are. Rodriguez has been extremely hot and cold this season: There are moments like his last start, where he flashes excellence in allowing one earned run over six innings, and others where he really struggles — like his outing against the Rays where he allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Mets: Robert Gsellman RP (Out).
Red Sox: Christian Arroyo 3B (Out), Jarren Duran OF (Out), Danny Santana OF (Out), Garrett Whitlock RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Red Sox are 0-4 in Rodriguez’s last four starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Red Sox.
The Red Sox aren’t fully healthy, but they have all their stars back — and are back to having a lineup that looks fantastic on paper.
However, they’re going to have trouble facing one of the more consistent pitchers in the league in Marcus Stroman. Stroman might be 9-12 on the year but he’s got an ERA of just 2.88 along with a WHIP of 1.12.
In the last 30 days, Stroman has an xFIP of 3.70 with a strikeout rate of 24.2 percent, especially good stuff as Stroman isn’t known for his strikeouts. He’s also walking just 6.3 percent of batters and is inducing nearly 55 percent of ground balls. On top of that, Stroman has limited line drives to 20 percent, which is crucial when you’re pitching in Fenway Park.
The Red Sox lineup has hit 22.7 percent line drives against righties in the last 30 days and has an ISO of .189 along with a wOBA of .344. These are above-average numbers, but Stroman has been better than that — he's allowed a wOBA of .241 to lefties and .214 to righties. The ISO power numbers have also been extremely low against Stroman through his last 95 plate appearances.
Eduardo Rodriguez will take the hill for the Red Sox and while the lefty hasn’t been nearly as effective as Stroman, he has been able to limit walks to 3.3 percent in the last 30 days. Rodriguez’s strikeout numbers have been low (18.7 percent) and he’s allowing a .328 BAbip with 35.2 percent hard contact allowed.
But the southpaw's Achilles' heel has been right-handed batters posting a .355 wOBA and ISO of .239 in the last 74 plate appearances. The Mets are most likely going to send seven or eight righties to the plate against Rodriguez — with the lone potential lefties being Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil, who have been able to limit strikeouts against lefties this year.
The Mets have an ISO of .191 and a wOBA of .331 in the last 30 days against lefties. They’re also hitting ground balls under 40 percent of the time and line drives at 21 percent against lefties.
New York stacks up better against Rodriguez than Boston versus Stroman, so based on numbers, the Mets should be favorites. They’ve struggled as of late but should be able to take a deep breath and have some success against Rodriguez.
PREDICTION: Mets (+125)
Sometimes I struggle understanding how some people bet totals when one pitcher looks like he’ll throw a gem and the other looks like he’ll implode. With a righty-heavy lineup — including a designated hitter — the Mets should be able to get to Rodriguez early and often in this game.
On the other hand, Stroman has pitched lights out against lefties and righties of late and looks dialed in — and if you're limiting power, Fenway Park is the perfect park to pitch in.
Therefore, we're shying away from a combined total and keying in on the Mets Over 1.5 in the first five innings. New York just needs a bloop and a blast for that to happen and while Rodriguez has limited walks, he’s not getting a high amount of strikeouts — when you put the ball in play, good things seem to happen.
The Mets core of Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Pete Alonso have been great against lefties (when it comes to power) in the last 30 days and any one of those three can hit a two-run blast to cash this ticket.
PREDICTION: Mets first five innings team total Over 1.5 (-150)
Mets vs Red Sox betting card
- Mets ML (+125)
- Mets first five innings team total Over 1.5 (-150)
Picks made on 9/21/2021 at 9:27 a.m. ET
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