Through no fault of their own, the New York Mets were not able to play their season-opening series over the weekend at NL East-rival Washington because of a COVID outbreak on the Nationals. However, the Mets will take the field for the first time in the 2021 regular season Monday at Philadelphia. NL Cy Young betting favorite Jacob deGrom is on the mound for New York, and it's also the first game that counts in a Mets uniform for All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. The Mets are -213 favorites at William Hill Sportsbook with an Over/Under of 7.5 runs.
Last week, the Mets and Lindor agreed on a 10-year extension worth $341 million, the third-largest contract in MLB history and the largest ever for a shortstop. The contract includes deferred money but no opt-outs. A partial no-trade clause is also part of the deal.
The Mets had never handed out a $200 million deal, but they never had an owner as wealthy as Steve Cohen, either. Since he debuted in 2015, Lindor has posted the third-most fWAR (29.2) among active players behind only Mike Trout (46.4) and Mookie Betts (38.4). Both those guys have won MVP Awards.
DeGrom finished third in the 2020 NL Cy Young voting after winning it the previous two years. The right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.96 WHIP along with 104 strikeouts, second-most in the majors. Just three pitchers other than deGrom in the last 50 seasons have held an ERA of 2.10 or lower (deGrom's is exactly 2.10) over a span of three years (minimum 400.0 innings). Since the start of 2018, he also leads the majors with a .552 opponent OPS and is second in the majors and leads the NL with a 0.94 WHIP.
DeGrom is right at home away from Citi Field as over the past three years he has a 2.22 ERA on the road, by far the best mark in MLB in that span. He is the only pitcher (minimum 150.0 innings) with a road ERA under 2.50 over the last three years.
The Phillies counter with lefty Matt Moore, who spent last season in Japan. This will be his first MLB start since April 6, 2019, with Detroit. Moore has made three career starts vs. New York and is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA.
The Phillies opened the season with a three-game home sweep of defending NL East champion Atlanta. The Mets are now +145 division favorites at William Hill.
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