New York Mets vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The New York Mets head to the Sunshine State to open a series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are -150 favorites over the Mets with an over/under run total set at 8.
After getting swept away by the arch rival Yankees over the weekend, I think the Mets are at a point in the season where they need to string a few wins together or things might cave in on them. A 5-4 loss to the Bronx Bombers and defeats in six of seven have left the NYM sitting in third place in the National League East. Although still right in the mix in the division, the Mets do have some concerns revolving around their offense and sometimes ineffective relief pitching. Both were a factor Sunday with starter Jon Niese allowing two unearned runs over seven innings. Bobby Parnell came on and gave up four hits and two runs without recording an out while Jon Rauch gave up a walk off bomb to Russell Martin. The Mets posted eight hits with Vinny Rotino singling in a run while Ike Davis doubled in another with Jordany Valdespin doubling in two more. Chris Young gets the series opening assignment for just his second start of 2012 after off season surgery. Young gave up three runs (two earned) on six hit through five innings before his relief pitching allowed four more.
In a tight American League East race, Tampa Bay has been heating up at an opportune time with a three game sweep of instate rival Miami. A 4-2 defeat of the Marlins gave the Rays four consecutive victories and a narrow lead over the Yankees for the division lead. The Rays pitching has done a reasonable job over the past few weeks but the good news is the offense has hammered out 29 runs during their latest win streak. Starter James Shields had been struggling before coming up big on Sunday with one run allowed on four hits and a trio of walks over 6.1 innings. The bats mustered eight hits while walking three times with Elliot Johnson smacking a two run homer and Matt Joyce going solo. Alex Cobb threw the ball better than expected in two victories but has come back to earth in his last two where he allowed eight runs on 14 hits over 12 innings in a pair of defeats.
I like the Rays in this spot. Im taking them minus the 150.
Tampa Bay Rays -150 New York Mets