The New York Mets go for an eighth straight win when they take on the host Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game weekend series on Friday. The first pitch of the series opener is set for 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fl.
The Mets have improved to 18-13 with their current run, putting them on top in the NL East. New York completed a two-game sweep of Baltimore with a 7-1 victory on Wednesday and enters action with a 1½-game lead over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.
Tampa Bay salvaged the final game of a three-game series with the New York Yankees, winning 9-1 on Thursday night. The Rays improved to 20-19 and sit in fourth place in the AL East, one game behind third-place New York and three behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.
The MLB odds have the Rays with a moneyline of -154, while the Mets are at +139. The over/under for the game has been set at 6½ runs.
Left-hander David Peterson will be on the mound for the Mets. He looks to improve his 1-3 record and 5.54 ERA. Peterson is making his seventh start, having struck out 32 and walked 11 in 26 innings.
The 25-year-old is coming off his shortest start, lasting 1⅔ innings against Arizona last Friday. Peterson allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, striking out three and taking a no-decision when the Mets rallied for a victory.
First baseman Pete Alonso has paced the Mets, batting .259 with five home runs and 17 RBI. If those seem like low numbers for a team leader at this point, they are, as New York ranks last in baseball in home runs (22), runs (111), and hits (235).
Shortstop Francisco Lindor has started to “heat up,” raising his average to .202. Lindor comes into this one on a six-game hitting streak, scoring six runs and driving in four over that stretch.
Hot and Cold
The Rays finally broke through with some offense against the Yankees, putting up nine runs, which was more than their combined output from their previous four games. Tampa Bay is batting .219 as a team, ranking 27th in baseball.
Designated hitter Austin Meadows went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, while outfielder Randy Arozarena had a home run as well.
“It’s the ebbs and flows of the game,” Meadows said after the win. “You run into tough nights. You run into good nights. You’ve just got to savor them and enjoy them.”
Meadows leads the Rays with eight home runs and 21 RBI, while Arozarena has a team-high 34 hits, including six doubles and four home runs while driving in 15 runs and scoring 20 times. Third baseman Joey Wendle is batting .270 with 10 doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI, and a team-high 22 runs scored.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow will make the start, bringing a 4-2 record and 2.37 ERA into the game. Glasnow is third in the major leagues with 75 strikeouts against 19 walks in 49⅓ innings.
Glasnow is coming off a pair of rough outings on the road, lasting 5⅔ innings in his last start, allowing three runs on two hits, both home runs, in taking a loss against Oakland. In his previous start, Glasnow also allowed a pair of home runs and three earned runs in six innings of work but ended up getting the win in a 7-3 victory over the Angels.
Rays Cool Off Mets
New York has been having trouble with its offense all season long, and now it faces one of the top strikeout pitchers in baseball. Tampa Bay is off a high from its offensive outburst on Thursday, and it should have enough to support Glasnow to another win.
When doing your MLB betting, go with Tampa Bay at home on Friday.