Angels vs. Red Sox Series Opener to go 'Under' the Total

Willie Bee

Monday, August 18, 2014 1:09 PM GMT

West Coast meets East Coast the next four days in Boston where the Red Sox entertain the Angels, and SBR will follow the entire series with previews and free MLB picks.

Stuck in the AL East cellar nearly 15 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox are destined to spend this October watching the playoffs at home instead of defending their 2013 World Series crown. That doesn't mean the Red Sox aren't a dangerous team to meet right nowand the Los Angeles Angels know that as they arrive in Boston for a 4-game series.

Los Angeles reaches Beantown just percentage points ahead of the slumping Oakland Athletics in the AL West race, and entrusts CJ Wilson to at least maintain that slim margin in Monday's series opener. Brandon Workman gets the starting nod for the Red Sox with the matchup slated for a 7:10 PM (ET) start.

The moneyline for Game 1 has been steadily moving in LA's favor since the Angels opened as -115 chalk. SBR's live baseball odds now shows that line in the -130s with most sportsbooks listing 9.5 for the total.

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Both Teams Coming Off Series Vs. Lone Star State Squads
Unable to complete a sweep of the Rangers in Texas over the weekend, Los Angeles (72-50, +12.0 units, 59-58-5 O/U/P) continues this 10-game run in Boston before heading to Oakland for the weekend, a series we will also be providing previews and free MLB picks for SBR. Don't expect to see Huston Street on the mound for the Angels tonight after the closer was called upon by manager Mike Scioscia in each of the last four games.

Boston (56-67, -22.0 units, 51-68-4 O/U/P) is in the middle of an 11-game homestand against AL West clubs, splitting four games against the Astros this past weekend with the Mariners on deck following this set with the Halos. The Red Sox scored 19 runs in their two wins vs. Houston, and just four in the two losses.

The clubs met a couple of weekends ago in Anaheim where the Red Sox won two of three for their first series win at the Big A since 2010.  The Angels' only victory in that set came in the marathon 19-inning matchup in Game 2 that saw Workman come out of the Boston bullpen to suffer the loss in LA's 5-4 decision.

Winning that set gave the BoSox a 332-290 all-time mark against the Halos which includes a 185-128 record at Fenway Park. Boston also won last season's series at Fenway, all three contests going past the totals.

 

Workman Has Sights On 1st Fenway Win Of 2014
Inconsistency has dogged Wilson through his first 22 starts, the Angels splitting those to leave baseball bettors down almost two units.  About the only thing consistent in his last seven outings is six of those games have leapfrogged the total. Good news comes in the fact Wilson has performed well against the Red Sox over his career, both as a starter and reliever -- 5-2 in nine starts and three saves among his bullpen eight outings all while compiling a 2.69 ERA in almost 67 innings.

Workman's relief appearance vs. the Angels nine days ago was his last entry in a boxscore, and it continued a string of six straight losses for the former Texas Longhorn. That was the first look at the Angels lineup for Workman who is still searching for his first win in front of the home fans this season after pitching so well at Fenway a year ago.

The weather looks to be just about perfect for the entire series, temps only climbing into the mid-to-upper 70s during the day and plenty of sunshine. Monday's forecast calls for a 72º reading at first pitch with a 5-8 mph northwest breeze (LF foul pole to RF foul pole).

I'm inclined to side with the Angels in this one, but will instead bank my free pick on both offenses not having enough to send this one past the total.

MLB Pick: Angels-Red Sox Under 9.5 at Pinnacle Sports (-110)

Season: 99-105 (-7.20)