Today's Free Picks for
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Boston +105 over Texas
8:05 PM EST. Few would have pegged the Red Sox to start this slow out of the gate (11-20), but their dismal start has us looking a little closer at them. Nick Pivetta (RHP - BOS) looks like a good fade on the surface with his winless (0-4) record and inflated 6.08 ERA, but he’s been incredibly unlucky with a .356 average on Batting Average on Balls in Play (BAIBP). The league average is around .270. A big correction to the good is forthcoming.
The Rangers will send Dane Dunning (RHP - TEX) out, but this play has little to do with him, but rather backing the Red Sox bats, which just might finally be heating up.
Viewed as an underdog in baseball’s most competitive division, the Red Sox really needed to get off to a hot start. Dear reader, they have not. Enrique Hernández, Trevor Story, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bobby Dalbec have struggled at the plate. Story has also been erratic in the field, committing several costly throwing errors at the keystone. First base has predictably turned into a black hole, with the team once more giving Franchy Cordero meaningful playing time at the expense of the floundering Dalbec and the already abandoned Travis Shaw. On the mound, Nick Pivetta has flopped in the rotation (on the surface) while Matt Barnes (8.64 ERA) has yet to regain his form out of the ‘pen.
That said, one of the biggest reasons the Red Sox have underperformed to date has been their performance in close games. The Sox have played in a league-leading five extra-inning contests thus far and have somehow managed to lose all of them. They are just 3-7 in one-run games overall.
The one-run game stuff almost has to get better, no? Boston’s bullpen has struggled relative to the league to date but on paper it’s a fairly deep group thanks to the additions of Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm. The offense figures to get better, too: despite holes at first base, catcher, and right field, the rest of the lineup is potent enough that it should carry the Sox to at least a top-12 finish. Point is, don’t wait for the Red Sox to inevitably heat up and get on them now. We’ll put that to the test here. This is not a .355 ball club.
Boston +105 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.10)