August 24 Odds: Sale & Red Sox Too Much for Indians

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

After beating the Indians’ ace on Wednesday, the Red Sox send their ace to the bump Thursday when Boston closes out the series in Cleveland as the favorite on the MLB odds.

MLB Season Record: 65-67-3 (+0.82)

Their roster depleted by a slew of recent injuries, the Cleveland Indians will try and earn a split in their long series against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. It won’t be easy having to face Chris Sale (14-5, 2.62), Heritage listing Boston -160. Cleveland counters with Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.50), and 7 is the game total.

A fielding gaffe by Boston’s Brock Holt helped Cleveland come away with a 5-4 triumph in Monday’s series opener. The Red Sox came right back Tuesday with a 9-1 rout in which Doug Fister allowed a home run to Francisco Lindor leading off the game before holding the Indians hitless the rest of the way. Boston pitchers were up to the task again Wednesday in a 6-1 decision when the Red Sox plated four in the ninth to break up a mound duel.


Indians Have Given Sale Trouble In The Past

Boston suffered just its second loss since the All-Star break with Sale on the mound his last time out, the southpaw allowing the Yankees all their runs in a 4-3 decision at Fenway Park last Saturday. It was the third defeat in Sale’s four tries against New York this season. The Tribe cracked on him in Boston earlier this month, chasing Sale after just five innings having plated seven runs, though the Red Sox lineup took him off the hook with a 12-10 walk-off win thanks to Christian Vazquez’s 3-run blast. Sale is 1-3 in his last five goes at Progressive Field, pitching to a 5.21 in those contests.

Bauer has been in good form since late-July, the Indians winning five of his six starts and the former first-round pick owning a 1.99 ERA in those 40+ innings. He tossed shutout baseball into the seventh last Saturday in Kansas City to help the Tribe cash as -135 chalk on the MLB odds. The 26-year-old also beat the Sox in Boston 10 days ago as a slight favorite.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Andy Fletcher completes one full circuit through the umpire crew by calling balls and strikes in the series finale. The Tennessee native hasn’t trended either way on totals this year (9-8-2 O/U/P) and also brings a pretty level home-visitor record into the contest (9-10). It’s Fletcher’s first plate assignment in Cleveland since April 2015, the ‘under’ cashing four of his last five appearances behind the Progressive Field dish.

Tuesday’s start was delayed more than an hour by rain, and there’s more wet stuff in Cleveland’s forecast today. It’s supposed to move out of the area by game time and leave temps in the upper 60s with an 8-11 mph NNW wind (in from left-center). I’m putting my free baseball pick in the collective hands of Sale and his lineup.

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox -1½ (+100)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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