Minnesota Twins (+175) at Boston Red Sox (-213, 10 o/u)
The Boston Red Sox (53-39, 32-20 Home) should probably be called the Boston Red Hots these days. Winners of eight of their last nine, the Sox will look to stay afire tonight when they host the struggling Minnesota Twins (35-59, 15-30 Away) at Fenway (7:10 PM Eastern).
Boston’s streak has vaulted the team to the top of the AL East standings, a half game above the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s had a decent cushion coming out of the All-Star break, but were just swept by the Yankees, while the Sox took a two-game miniseries from the MLB-leading Giants (4-0 and 11-7).
The 11-spot Boston put up last night felt like par for the course this year. The Red Sox offense is the best in majors, leading the bigs in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Tonight, they will look to rough up right-hander Tyler Duffey, who is 5-6 in 16 starts this season with a 5.23 ERA. Lately Duffey has been a little better than his season stats suggest; last time out, he put in a respectable 6.1-inning performance, giving up six hits and four runs in a no-decision against the Indians. Prior to that, he’d won three straight starts.
But Duffey is not only facing Boston’s hard-hitting batting order tonight, he’s also facing the team’s Cy Young candidate, Steven Wright. The surprise AL era leader is 11-5 on the year in 18 starts, posting a 2.78 earned run average. He’s won three straight starts and gave up just three hits in six innings of work against the Yankees last time he was on the mound.
Wright already has a win over Minnesota on his resume this season, too, pitching 7.1 innings of seven-hit, one-run ball in an 8-1 Boston drubbing back in June.
Boston is a heavy favorite tonight, which makes an abundance of sense given their current win streak, Minnesota’s season-long struggles, and the pitching matchup. Throw in the fact that the Twins are 2-5 SU in their last seven games at Fenway, and Boston (-213) still feels like best value.
Pick: Boston (-213).
(Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])