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Mets vs. Reds MLB Odds, Preview, Betting Predictions: Can N.Y. Take Rubber Match in Cincinnati? (July 21)

Mets vs. Reds MLB Odds, Preview, Betting Predictions: Can N.Y. Take Rubber Match in Cincinnati? (July 21) article feature image

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.

  • The Mets are favored over the Reds on the road on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match of this NL series.
  • Marcus Stroman has been great for the Mets this season, though he's due for some regression, while the Reds will send an inexperienced starter to the mound without much bullpen support behind him.
  • Get our Mets vs. Reds pick and preview below.

Mets vs. Reds Odds

Mets Odds -135
Reds Odds +115
Over/Under 10.5
Time 12:35 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings.

The Cincinnati Reds took the second game of this series against the New York Mets by the score of 4-3 on Tuesday night.

The Reds offense was paced by strong offensive performances by Jonathan India and Aristides Aquino, both of whom contributed important home runs for the home team. Aquino, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez all also had multi-hit efforts in the victory.

The Mets, meanwhile, got multi-hit games from Pete Alonso, James McCann and Kevin Pillar in the loss. Alonso also contributed a solo home run in the first inning.

Can the Mets bounce back and take the third game of this matchup – and seal the series victory – on the road with Marcus Stroman on the mound?

Stroman Pitching Over His Head for Mets

Stroman will get the nod for the Mets on Wednesday night in what will be his 21st start of the season.

On the surface, his numbers have been strong. Over 103 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.87 ERA, limited opposing batters to just 0.87 HR/9 and struck out batters at a 7.47 K/9 clip, slightly above his career average.

That said, there are a few reasons for concern. His 3.61 FIP is nearly a full run higher than his ERA, while his 4.70 xERA is nearly two runs higher. He’s also allowed an alarmingly high 44.2% Hard Hit rate to opponents thus far. All of these are signs that we should expect some negative regression for Stroman in the near future.

Stroman will also have a tough matchup tonight against a Reds team that has been one of the best teams in baseball against righties this season. Through July 20, they’ve collectively hit to a .330 wOBA in such situations, the fifth highest mark in all of baseball.

While the Mets bullpen has struggled of-late, they still rank in the top half of the league with a respectable 4.22 FIP thus far, 13th among all teams.

Reds Pitching in Tough Spot

Jeff Hoffman will take the hill for the Reds on Wednesday night. Hoffman has struggled so far this season, pitching to a 4.66 xFIP, 5.77 xERA and has allowed hard contact at a worrying 40.8% rate.

While he’s been relatively successful in limiting the long ball (0.88 HR/9), walks have been an issue for the right-hander. Over 41 innings pitched, Hoffman has allowed a free pass to batters at a sky-high 5.93 BB/9 rate.

Tonight, he’ll take on a Mets team that has been just average so far against righties, combining for a .305 wOBA in such situations (16th in MLB).

If Hoffman struggles, manager David Bell will have to turn to a Reds bullpen that has been one of the worst in baseball through the first half of the season. Over 345 innings, they’ve pitched to a 4.83 FIP, the third-worst mark amongst all teams.

Mets vs. Reds Pick

While I do expect a high scoring affair here, there’s little value on the current total of 10.5 runs. The better play in this one is to back the Mets on the road with Stroman on the mound.

Yes, he’s due for some negative regression and the Reds do hit righties well, but there is a substantial talent gap between Stroman and the Mets bullpen and Hoffman plus any support the Reds bullpen will provide. Stroman has also been very successful at limiting damage so far this year, not allowing more than three earned runs in any outing since May 16.

Given the talent gap on the pitching side, the moneyline at -135 is too low. I’m taking the Mets here to clinch a big series win on the road and I’m comfortable playing this up to -145 if necessary. Unibet has a -132 as of Wednesday morning, and check the Action Network app for the best real-time price.

Pick: Mets -132

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