It is the middle game of a high profile American League series. Boston took the first game last night by a score of 8-7 and those betting baseball will have to decided if they can take a 2-0 lead.
It was a crazy contest as Texas hammered David Price in building 7-2 lead, but the Rangers bullpen was faulty and allowed four runs in the top of the ninth and were guilty of the defeat.
Texas has the best record in the AL and has given itself some breathing room in the AL West by winning eight of the last 10, 10 of 13 and is on a 16-5 tear in last 22 days.
After a very strong start to the season, Boston is 12-15 since May 26th, as the offense and pitching has cooled off.
This baseball handicapper suffered a rare loss yesterday and is 23-13 for the season with his MLB picks.
Let’s face it, when a pitcher has to resort to using a knuckleball, he knows his other pitches are no longer good enough to get batters out. To their credit, guys like Boston’s Steven Wright (8-4, 2.01 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) worked hard to master the pitch and though there is some uncertainty going into every outing, the 31-year old has been steady in chucking his darting pitch 90 percent of the time. Though Wright has 37 walks in 98.1 innings, with runners on base, he has only allowed a .201 batting average and kept the ball in the park with only four home runs surrendered.
With four regular starting pitchers on the DL, being able to bring back A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.94, 1.13) helps Texas, but only if he can pitch and stay healthy. That is an enormous question about the right hander. Since having Tommy John surgery in 2014, it has been one ailment after another for the former Oakland hurler. Griffin made five effective starts to begin the season, but shoulder miseries popped up on May 7th and the sinker-baller will be making first start since.
Though the Red Sox offensive has not been as productive recently, they came up big last night with four hits in the ninth and took advantage of the two walks that were given to them. This is something Boston has done all year and is the reason why they have the most prolific offense in the majors at 5.7 runs per game. Though they only eighth in the AL in home runs with 88, they are first on on-base percentage (.356) and slugging percentage (.473).
Texas is no pauper with the bats, especially at home where they average 5.2 RPG. Similar to Boston, the Rangers have a good collection of hitters with various skills which makes for diversified lineup.
Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds at JustBet have Boston as -128 road favorites with the total sitting at 10. These teams have split last eight battles in Arlington and the total is 4-3-1 UNDER. The Red Sox bullpen is middle of the road in the AL with a 3.49 ERA. The Texas pen is a study in contrast with the league’s worst ERA of 4.81, yet is second in save percentage at 78.3.
Texas has been tough club all season and even with the loss, is 33-18 as underdogs this season and 13-5 as home underdog. Great confidence-building win for Boston, but they are off two big offense games and are 3-11 after scoring eight runs or more in two straight games the last two seasons. Though it is a random number, hard to ignore the Rangers are 10-1 on Saturday’s.
Free MLB Plays – Texas Wins
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com