Mets +1½ (-185) +107
Red Sox -1½ (+160) -122
The Mets started the 2016 season against their previous year’s World Series opponent, the Kansas City Royals – an opening day matchup which was made possible for the first time in league history thanks to interleague play being scattered throughout the season. The Mets were below .500 as late as August 19th, but they went 27-13 in the last 40 games of the regular season to reach the playoffs for the second time in two straight seasons. The Mets lost in the National League Wild Card Game to the San Francisco Giants. Second baseman Neil Walker accepted the qualifying offer to return to the New York Mets for $17.2 million on November 14th, 2016. Yoenis Cespedes re-signed with the Mets for $110 million dollars for four years on October 29th, 2016 – the Mets second biggest free agent signing in history. Jerry Blevins re-signed with the Mets for a one year deal with option for 2018 on January 27th, 2017. The Mets are what people who bet on baseball call the MLB betting underdog – though their odds to win the 2017 World Series do not look that bad either, at +1325, which are actually the second best odds for a team in the National League East division behind the Nationals.
The Boston Red Sox finished 2016 first in the American League East division with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses. However, they were swept by the American League Central champions the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series. The 2017 season will be the Red Sox’s 117th season in the history of the franchise, and the 106th season at Fenway Park. It will also be the first without ‘Big Papi’ David ‘this is our f’ing city’ Ortiz. GM Mike Hazen left Boston for the Arizona Diamondbacks – and took bench coach Torey Lovullo with him – on October and was replaced by Dave Dombrowski. The Red Sox named Gary DiSarcina as their new bench coach on November. Boston traded third baseman Travis Shaw with Josh Pennington, Mauricio Dubon and a player TBD to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for reliever Tyler Thornburg. The Red Sox traded Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Víctor Díaz to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for starter Chris Sale on December 6th. Boston acquired Josh Rutledge from the Colorado Rockies and signed free agent Mitch Moreland to a one-year, $5.5 million contract on December 8th. The Red Sox traded Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Josh Tobias. The Red Sox are what people who bet on baseball call the MLB betting favorite – not just as far as this preseason game is concerned; they are also heavy favorites to win the 2017 World Series behind the Chicago Cubs.