Mets vs. Red Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Offenses Score Runs vs. Taijuan Walker, Chris Sale? (Wednesday, September 22)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Taijuan Walker
- The Mets are underdogs with Taijuan Walker on the mound against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
- Boston counters with Chris Sale, who has been solid since returning from injury.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Mets vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-190|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Mets’ second-half collapse has pushed them out of the playoff race, and their primary role in the final two weeks of the season will be spoiler.
They have games with the Red Sox, Brewers and Braves remaining in an attempt to upset some teams in the playoff push. Wednesday, they’ll complete a two-game series at Fenway Park against Chris Sale and the Red Sox.
New York turns to All-Star Taijuan Walker, who has been anything but an All-Star since the break in July. Sale has been pretty good based on his surface-level numbers since returning from a long injury absence in August, but both pitchers’ underlying numbers and recent form suggest there will be plenty of runs at Fenway on Wednesday night.
Walker’s Second-Half Slide Continues For Mets
Looking at his numbers now, it’s hard to believe that Walker was an All-Star in 2021. His stellar first half featured a bit good luck, but his pitching was also really solid. Since the All-Star break, though, he’s been a completely different pitcher. A much worse one. It’s been a slow and steady deterioration of his metrics.
Walker had a 2.66 first half ERA that has risen to 7.04 in the second half. His strikeouts are down from 9.0 per 9 to 7.4, while his walks have risen considerably. Walker held opponents to a .573 OPS against in the first half, but since the break, the Mets’ righty has surrendered a .862 OPS.
Basically, every hitter who has come to the place against Walker in the second half of the season has performed like Carlos Correa.
He’s also been considerably worse away from Citi Field. Walker holds a respectable 3.55 ERA at home, but that balloons to 5.18 on the road. Facing a Red Sox lineup that has destroyed right-handed pitching most of the year and especially of late, this is a terrible spot for Walker as the season comes to a close and the Mets are out of the playoff picture.
Red Sox Hope For Sale Resurgence
The Red Sox couldn’t ask for much more from Sale than his 2.40 ERA since returning from Tommy John surgery. But his elite strikeout numbers from 2019 and before are gone. Sale is striking out just 24.6% of hitters, much lower than the typical mid-30s rate he sat at from 2015-19. He still avoids walks at an elite rate, but his 3.46 xERA is a full run higher than his actual and his FIP sits at 3.39.
Four of Sale’s six starts have come against Baltimore, Texas and Minnesota, all pretty weak lineups in the AL. Against Tampa Bay, a much better lineup, Sale really struggled to produce clean innings on two separate occasions. Some double plays got him out of jams in this two outings, but the bases were packed with Rays hitters in most innings.
Meanwhile, the Boston offense has been elite at Fenway Park all season. The Red Sox rank first in slugging and top five in strikeout rate both at home and against righties. They are mashing the ball of late and have an OPS 0.12 points higher than the entire league when facing righties at home in 2021.
Given the Mets only have one reliable lefty in their bullpen, the Red Sox should produce plenty of offense against Walker and the Mets’ bullpen on Wednesday night.
Mets-Red Sox Pick
With two overrated starting pitchers on the hill and the Mets’ offense overdue for some positive regression, I’m backing over 9 runs in this Wednesday matchup. Our Action Network PRO Projection puts this total at 9.37 runs as well, suggesting the total is a touch too low in the current market.
Walker has been really bad in the second half of the season and Sale’s underlying numbers aren’t nearly as good as his surface-level ones. Both pitchers are hittable by the opposing lineup and neither bullpen has been steady or consistent over the course of the entire season.
Pick: Over 9 (-115 or better)