The first weekend of the 2020 Major League Baseball season has come and gone. Monday’s schedule is a bit abbreviated, but we still have a few interesting games worth watching. One of those is an interleague matchup in Boston between the Red Sox and the New York Mets.
Both teams went 1-2 over the weekend. The Mets dropped two of three games at home against the Atlanta Braves, while the Red Sox were beaten twice in three games by the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Boston’s starting rotation is an awful lot worse than it was a season ago, and the fact that the Orioles teed off on them to begin the season likely isn’t a good sign for the Red Sox.
We will see a couple of mediocre right-handers take the hill to make debuts for their respective clubs on Monday night at Fenway Park. Zack Godley, who was released last week by the Detroit Tigers, will take the ball for the Red Sox. Michael Wacha, meanwhile, will toe the rubber for the Mets in his first start since signing as a free agent over the winter.
The Mets are slight -108 moneyline favorites in a game with a 10.5 over/under.
Wacha’s Uneven Career
Wacha began his career as a highly-touted prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he never wound up living up to the lofty expectations that were set for him. He posted an impressive 2.78 ERA as a rookie in 2013, but he never got back to that level. Last year, he went 6-7 across 29 games with a 4.76 ERA. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but it’s obviously not the kind of output you get from a top-of-the-rotation starter, either.
Wacha posted a low 18.5 percent strikeout rate last season, and he hasn’t had an above-average K-rate since his 25 percent showing during his aforementioned rookie campaign. Walks have been an issue for him, as well. Wacha’s walk rate was up around 10 percent again last year. His BB% is now at 8.2 percent for his career, which is on the high side.
The right-hander allowed a hefty .371 wOBA to right-handed hitters last year along with a .343 mark against lefties. The Red Sox’ lineup isn’t what it was least season without Mookie Betts, but the bats are still the area of strength for Boston. JD Martinez, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts give the Sox four All-Star-caliber hitters right at the top of the batting order.
Godley’s Debut for Boston
Godley, meanwhile, enjoyed a solid four-year stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being waived last season and eventually claimed by Toronto. The righty went 4-5 in 33 appearances between both stops last season, including nine starts. His 5.97 ERA was easily the worst mark of his career, though his career 4.68 mark isn’t that great, either.
Godley has historically done a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground, but his ground ball rate has steadily dipped in the two years since posting a 55.3 percent mark in 2017. He also saw his strikeout rate tumble to 17.2 percent in 2019 after being up over 26 percent in ’17.
The right-hander has been fairly neutral in terms of splits over the course of his career, which isn’t necessarily great news considering the Mets boast a number of thunderous bats from either side of the plate. Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, and Michael Conforto give New York some quality from the left side, while right-handed hitters like Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, and Wilson Ramos bring more power.
Regardless, the fact that he was released by the Tigers, arguably the worst team in all of baseball, shouldn’t give the Red Sox a lot of hope that Godley can turn things around right away. While there’s reason to believe he isn’t quite as bad as last season’s numbers indicate, he’s likely in for a rude awakening against one of baseball’s better lineups at hitter-friendly Fenway Park tonight.
The total for this game opened at over/under 9.5 runs, and it has climbed to 10.5 since. Frankly, that’s still not high enough. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the public continue to push this total north by the time first pitch rolls around, which means you should get your bets in on the over on 10.5 runs while the total is still too low.
We have two top-tier offenses facing off against a couple of mediocre pitchers in this one. Fenway Park is arguably the best park in the league for right-handed power, which both teams happen to have in spades. It’s also going to be a hot and humid afternoon in Boston, which makes for even better hitting conditions.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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