Boston Red Sox (24-17) at Minnesota Twins (18-19)
Boston starter, Clay Buchholz, has been stuck on the 6 win mark for quite some time and he’ll look to change that as he faces an average Minnesota Twins team with decent hitting. Minnesota turns to Vance Worley for Friday night’s matchup. Worley (1-4, 7.15) has had a disappointing season to say in the least and he’ll be facing a Boston attack that ranks highly in most offensive statistical categories. Does Worley have a chance to make an impression on the Bosox?
Vance Worley is coming off of his 1st win of the season when the Twins defeated the Orioles 8-5. Amazingly enough, Worley picked up the “W” while giving up 5 runs and 11 hits in 5 innings. This is a rarity and don’t expect it to happen here. Worley isn’t the type of pitcher that’s going to mow a team down as his 21 strikeouts in 39 innings will attest to and he’s gotten knocked around all season long.
This is a great opportunity for Boston, who along with possessing one of the better pitchers in the league in Clay Buchholz, has a very capable offensive attack.
The Red Sox rank 3rd in the majors in runs, 9th in batting average, 2nd in on-base percentage, and 4th in slugging percentage.
The Twins have a formidable offense with the likes of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Josh Willingham, but this is such a pitching mismatch that you have to side with the Red Sox even on the road.
Boston is a heavy -160 MLB betting odds favorite, but sometimes you have to take what’s given as they’re the obvious choice. Look for Clay Buchholz to pick up win number 7.
Pick- Boston Red Sox -160 at Bet 365 Sportsbook
Houston Astros (11-30) at Pittsburgh Pirates (24-17)
After 3 consecutive wins, the Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that’s quietly moving up the standings. After such a long drought without a winning season, could this be the year that the Pirates becoming a winning baseball team?
These are the statistics that can be misleading. A pitcher can have an outstanding record and earned run average and a team needs him to start a game and eat up some innings. This is the case for the Pirates as they start right hander, Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.28).
Gomez has pitched well this season and the Pirates have steadily increased his workload, but make no mistake about it, this is a pitcher that’s only proven that he can go 5 innings at best. That leaves the rest of the responsibility on the bullpen and the Pirates offense.
Put Out the Welcome Mat
Pittsburgh will surely welcome Houston starter Jordan Lyles. For his career, Lyles has an 0-4 record in 5 starts against the Pirates with a bloated 7.77 ERA. Lyles hasn’t pitched any better in his 3 starts this season against any other team. He’s 1-1 with an 8.36 ERA and is coming off of a beating against Texas in which he went 4 1/3 innings while allowing 8 runs and 11 hits.
The pitching advantage goes to Pittsburgh, but due to Gomez’s inability to go deep into ball games, this is no “slam dunk” for Pitt.
I always say that every good team needs a good leadoff hitter and Pittsburgh has one of the better leadoff men in the major leagues in Starling Marte. Marte has proven that he can get on base and is a threat on the basepaths. He’s batting .315 with 5 HR, 17 RBI, and 10 SB.
Marte is coming off of a solid 2 for 5 effort with a double against the Brewers and Pittsburgh needs his pop along with his speed. Superstar Andrew McCutchen isn’t having the All-Star season that he had last year, but with the emergence of Marte; it’s lessened the blow a bit for the Pirates.
Houston is just like the Miami Marlins; a team with no payroll and a bunch of no-namers. That equates to losing and that’s what you’ll see from them tonight.
Pittsburgh should wipe the floor up with Houston; take the runline for your baseball picks here.
Good Luck, everyone!