MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox ‘under’ 8½

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 22, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

A.J Griffin has followed up nicely on his fine rookie year by going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.15 WHIP so far, but the Oakland offense has struggled since leaving home. Go ‘under’ in Boston.

Runs could be hard to come by Monday night when the promising A.J. Griffin and the Oakland Athletics (12-7, 6-3 away) pay a visit to Felix Doubront and the Boston Red Sox (12-6, 5-4 home) in the opening game of a three-game series from Fenway Park in Boston, MA at 6:35 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.

The Athletics got off to a great start in defense of their American League West title last season as they want 12-4 in their first 16 games this year, but their offense disappeared while getting swept in a three-game road series vs. the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend and Oakland is now in second place one-half game behind the Texas Rangers.

The A’s look to get back in the win column tonight with the young Griffin on the mound, who had a very good rookie season last year going 7-1 in 15 starts after his call-up in June with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Griffin held opposing batters to just a .236 batting average while recording 64 strikeouts against 19 walks in 82.1 innings, although he did fade a bit late in the year.

That may have had more to do with fatigue than with the league catching up with Griffin though, as he is off to another excellent start this season going 2-0 with the Athletics as a team going 3-0 in his starts, and he has a 2.25 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while limiting the opposition to a .222 batting average while going a perfect three for three in Quality Starts.

Speaking of Quality Starts, Griffin was a perfect two for two vs. the Red Sox in that category during his rookie season, allowing a scant three runs on seven hits plus two walks in 13 innings, translating to a 2.08 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with eight strikeouts.

The Red Sox had a seven-game winning streak snapped when they were swept in a doubleheader by the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, a winning streak that wrapped around the tragic Boston Marathon bombings last Monday. The 4-2 loss in Game 1 yesterday snapped an impressive streak of eight straight games where Boston pitching allowed three runs or less.

While one of those starts was by tonight’s starter Doubront, the truth of the matter is that he labored while throwing 104 pitches in five innings, as he escaped with allowing only two runs despite walking four batters to go along with the four hits he allowed, although his seven strikeouts did help.

Doubront now has a chance to be more efficient as after having one of the best offenses in baseball though the final game of a home stand last Wednesday, the Athletics scored a grand total of only four runs while losing the three games at Tampa Bay over the weekend including managing just one run on six hits over the last two games with only three hits in each contest.

Also, late tack-on runs should be limited for both sides here as the Oakland bullpen ranks fifth in the American League with a 2.74 ERA and the Boston bullpen has a stellar 2.00 ERA over the last 10 games following a tough start.

Thus, go ‘under’ in Boston on Monday evening.

[gameodds]3/225405/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Athletics, Red Sox ‘under’ 8½ (-115)