The New York Mets try to win a second straight game when they take on the Cincinnati Reds in the first of a three-game series on Monday night. The series opener is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
The Mets rallied to salvage the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, snapping a three-game losing streak. New York is 48-42 and in first place in the NL East, leading the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by two games and the third-place Atlanta Braves by four games.
Cincinnati was swept in a three-game home series by the Milwaukee Brewers, falling to 48-45. The Reds are in second place in the NL Central, trailing the first-place Brewers by seven games and leading the third-place Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals by two games.
MLB odds for the series opener have the Reds with a moneyline of -122, while the Mets are listed at +112. The over/under has been set at 10½ runs.
The Mets spotted the Pirates a six-run lead after the first inning on Sunday but rallied to trail by one heading to the ninth inning. That’s when Michael Conforto came through with a two-run home run that gave New York the lead and the eventual win.
“I mean, what a team win,” Conforto said after Sunday’s win. “The bullpen throwing up zeros the rest of the game and the bats continuing to put together great at-bats. I just happened to be the guy to have the big swing today. And you never know who it’s gonna be each and every day.
“It’s a big one for me. A big one for the team. Now get a happy flight to go into Cincinnati and keep this thing rolling.”
THE METS HAVE THE LEAD!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/3ut0VH69PX
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2021
The home run was Conforto’s fourth. He has 21 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 55 games. He also had two doubles in Saturday’s game.
First baseman Pete Alonso has been the power in the Mets’ lineup, as he leads the team with a .254 batting average, 17 home runs, and 49 RBIs. He also has 12 doubles and 40 runs scored.
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff will make his third start. Eickhoff is 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA this season, striking out six and walking four in 12⅔ innings of work.
His last start came against Washington on June 28, as he went six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits, including four home runs, while striking out three and walking one. He pitched in relief on July 11 against Pittsburgh, going 2⅔ innings and giving up two runs on six hits, including two home runs.
Needing Some Wins
The Reds were hoping to make up ground on the NL Central-leading Brewers over the weekend, but instead, they are falling out of contention quickly after the three-game sweep by Milwaukee. Cincinnati has just three games left against the Brewers, a series that will be played in Milwaukee in August.
Cincinnati is hoping outfielder Nick Castellanos will be ready to go. The All-Star was hit in the wrist by a pitch on Friday night and came out of the game after running the bases, then missed Saturday and Sunday’s contests. He’s reportedly improving and could be ready.
Castellanos is second in the majors with a .330 batting average, hitting 29 doubles and 18 home runs, driving in 59 runs, and scoring 59 times. Castellanos leads baseball in doubles.
Outfielder Jesse Winker got his first hit since the All-Star break on Sunday but finished the three games against Milwaukee 1-for-13 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .292 with 17 doubles, 19 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 59 runs scored.
Right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez will be on the mound, bringing a 4-3 record and 4.29 ERA. Gutierrez has 36 strikeouts and 23 walks over 50⅓ innings.
The 25-year-old is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts in July. He took a no-decision in his last start against Milwaukee on July 10, going six innings and allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out none in a 4-3 Reds win.
The Mets haven’t been a good team on the road this season, coming into this one with a 20-28 mark as the visitor after dropping two of three to Pittsburgh. Cincinnati is just 23-23 at home in 2021.
New York is uncertain about its starter for Tuesday but has Marcus Stroman (6-8, 2.79 ERA) set to go for the series finale on Wednesday. The Reds will have Wade Miley (7-4, 2.80) making the start on Tuesday, followed by Jeff Hoffman (3-4, 4.61) in the finale.
MLB series prices for this three-game set have the Mets at +105, while the Reds are listed at -135.
Cincinnati Wins Opener
Eickhoff has really struggled to keep the ball in the park lately, and that’s not going to be easy against the Reds’ deep lineup either. Look for Gutierrez to shut down the New York offense, and Cincinnati to snap its home losing streak with a win.
When doing your MLB betting, take the Reds to get the victory at home.