Free MLB Picks: Red Sox Lineup Is Smoking As They Fly Into Cleveland

Swinging Johnson

Monday, August 15, 2016 1:35 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 1:35 PM UTC

The Red Sox hit the highway for 11 games starting today and fresh off the heels of a series sweep of Arizona. Let's see how they fare against the AL Central leading Indians in our MLB picks.

Swinger’s MLB Record: 62-36, +24.57 units
And now we are at three. That's right, three consecutive winners in our MLB picks, which at first blush appears to be a modest streak but after hitting a rough patch over the last three weeks it's a welcome reprieve from the pain.

On Sunday we got down on the Miami Marlins over the visiting Chicago White Sox. The MLB odds makers were giving us +128 on a playoff contending team with a starting pitcher who has been white hot, over an ace who has been good but not great recently and playing for a team whose playoff aspirations were extinguished long ago. And for those who believe I only get the best lines, be assured I only get the lines available at the time of my writing which is usually before I have had my first cup of coffee. Yesterday that early bird mentality did me no good as the line spiked even higher on the Chi-Sox after I locked in at +128 on Miami. When the dust settled Miami scored a 5-4 victory and we cashed our third ticket in a row. Let's keep rolling, shall we?


Mookie for MVP?
Mookie Betts is one of a handful of young, talented players that the Red Sox have cultivated through their farm system and the 23-year-old right fielder is making a push for an AL MVP Award in only his second season as a starter. Yesterday he put on a show for the Fenway faithful as he blasted three home runs and collected eight RBI in a thorough dismantling of the Arizona Diamondbacks, culminating in a 16-2 victory for Boston. The native of Nashville, Tennessee is now hitting at a .313 clip with 26 home runs and 84 RBI on the season.

Betts, along with defensive wizard Jackie Bradley Jr. and the outstanding Xander Bogaerts at the hot corner are the three sublimely talented young guns all toiling for the Red Sox this year and for more to come. In addition, the stunning emergence of catcher Sandy Leon, currently hitting .389 in 41 games, has been a welcome boon to a club that has seen their offense having to rescue a pitching a corps that has struggled mightily at times this season. Therefore it is no wonder that Boston leads the majors in all four major offensive categories: 1st in team batting average (.285), runs scored (640), on base percentage (.350) and slugging percentage (.468).


Betting Analysis
The Red Sox will look to continue their dominating offensive performance this afternoon but hope to get several quality innings out of the recently acquired Drew Pomeranz. The Sox traded with the Padres for the veteran journeyman who was a No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft by the team he will face today. In his combined 27 starts with San Diego and Boston this season, Pomeranz is 8-9 with a 3.03 ERA, which includes his 0-2 record with a 5.26 ERA in his five starts for the Red Sox.

Cleveland will send Josh Tomlin (11-5, 4.18, 1.19) to the hill and he will be seeking redemption after getting blown up in his last outing against the Nationals where he allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings of work. Tomlin is 2-2 when starting against the Red Sox with an ERA of 4.22 and a WHIP of 1.250.

Here we have a Boston team that has won three straight and is absolutely hitting the cover off the ball, averaging an eye-popping 10 plus runs in those games. We also have a starter in Drew Pomeranz who has demonstrated flashes of brilliance, worthy of his lofty No. 5 pick in the draft potential. In his last start, he limited the Yankees to one run over five plus innings of work before the Boston bullpen imploded leading to a 9-4 setback at home.

In short, the Red Sox lineup is smoking as they fly into Cleveland and should be able to take advantage of Josh Tomlin, a pitcher who started the season strong but has been torched in his last two starts. Let's grab the small road dog here.

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox +102
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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