Free MLB Picks: Back Indians to Tomahawk Red Sox & Even Up Series

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 7, 2016 12:13 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 12:13 PM UTC

Cleveland blew an early lead Wednesday against the Red Sox before picking up the win to even their series. Join us for a free MLB pick on who we like in the series finale.

Mike Napoli spent the better part of the last three seasons delivering big hits for the Boston Red Sox. Wednesday night in Cleveland, the burly veteran turned the tables on his former club with a late home run to help the Cleveland Indians to a series-tying 7-6 victory.

The rubber game is scheduled for a 6:10 PM (ET) start at Progressive Field where a couple of young righthanders are set to deal for their respective clubs. Joe Kelly is the No. 3 arm in Boston's rotation with Danny Salazar filling the same slot for Cleveland, and the Tribe is carrying the chalk on the MLB odds board with a -135 price at Pinnacle. BetOnline has 7½ for the total and priced -110 both high and low.

Salazar Looking For 3rd Win In As Many Tries Vs. Red Sox
Kelly was one of the busier Red Sox pitchers this spring, making six starts and responding with a nice 2.63 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 24 innings. Hidden in those numbers was Kelly consistently working around a lot of traffic on the basepaths, the righthander also the victim of four long balls

The former UC Riverside star got off to a bad start a year ago in Boston and was eventually sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket to work things out. Kelly's first three starts back from the minors didn't suggest he had figured anything out, but he did settle down his final eight assignments, pitching to a 2.15 ERA in that span with seven of the eight games going into the win column for the Red Sox, one of the dubyas coming at Cleveland's expense.

Salazar's electric stuff has produced nearly a 10 K per nine inning rate during his 3-year career, and he lowered his walk rate enough in 2015 to become one of the better pitchers in what is a fine young Indians rotation. Some of that wildness resurfaced this spring when he walked 13 in 26+ innings, the Dominican also serving up five home runs along the way.

Salazar has enjoyed pitching against the Red Sox in the past, winning both of his career starts, each coming last season. In his home assignment on the final day of the 2015 season, Salazar pitched into the sixth with six K's and only one Boston runner crossing the plate.

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Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Known for having a quick thumb as well as being former big league umpire Rich Garcia's son-in-law, Vic Carapazza takes his turn calling balls and strikes for Crew C that's headed up by John Hirschbeck. The New York native has made a name for himself as an 'under' ump among baseball bettors, his last two seasons going 26-36-3 O/U/P with a fairly large strike zone. Carapazza's last two plate assignments in Cleveland fell short of the totals.

Another series that Mother Nature wouldn't allow to start on time earlier this week, it appears she may raise her angry hand on the final contest of the set this evening. Cleveland's forecast calls for steady showers throughout the afternoon and into the evening when temps could drop enough to change rain into snow. Since this is Boston's only trip to the Rock and Roll Capital of the World, expect the umpires to do everything possible to get the game played.

This has been a very even series when the teams get together in Cleveland, Wednesday's triumph giving the Indians a slight 49-48 advantage at Progressive Field since it opened in '94. Boston entered series having dropped six in a row on this diamond before winning Game 1 on Tuesday, and I'm going to ride Cleveland with a run line play for my free MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Indians -1½ (+165)
Best Line Offered: at William Hill

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