MLB Picks: Bet Red Sox vs. Royals Under the Total

Joe Freda

Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:56 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 12:56 PM GMT

Thursday's opener between the foes at Kauffman Stadium has lefties Bruce Chen  and Jon Lester squaring off. Which one shows the best value for your sports betting picks?

Read our Daily MLB Betting Lines & Odds Report for an analysis of today's games!

The Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals have both heated up at the start of August’s MLB betting, cashing at a combined 19-5 mark over their last 12 contests. 

Royals, Red Sox win finales

Kansas City began its home stand with a 2-1 mark in this week’s set with the Minnesota Twins, outscoring their rivals by a combined margin of 18-9. Wednesday’s finale saw the Royals hold on for a 5-2 win, with closer Greg Holland anchoring five relievers for his 30th save.

Boston heads north after cashing two straight tickets as road ‘chalk’ against the Houston Astros, notching 22 runs over the pair of matchups. The series ended with Wednesday night’s 7-5 victory, with a late rally capped off by shortstop Stephen Drew’s three-run homer.

Read Thursday's Pitching Report for a breakdown of the day's matchups.

Chen cashes in New York

Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.03 ERA) logged a no-decision in Saturday’s 4-3 win for Kansas City as a 131 road favorite against the New York Mets. The 15-year veteran allowed one run on four hits, while tossing eight strikeouts over six innings.

Royals outfielder Justin Maxwell drilled a go-ahead homer in the 12th inning, while mates Miguel Tejada and Eric Hosmer united to bat 5-for-9. Kansas City’s Kelvin Herrera came away with his staff’s win, holding the Mets hitless over three of the contest’s final four frames.

Lester lit up at home

Jon Lester (10-5, 4.36 ERA) was shelled for six runs in Friday’s 7-6 defeat for Boston as 189 home ‘chalk’ to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 29-year-old gave up 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings, finishing with a no-decision.

Boston’s David Ortiz cracked his 21st homer of the year, while mate Jacoby Elssbury poked a triple as part of a 2-for-5 night from the leadoff spot. Red Sox reliever Pedro Beato allowed the contest’s deciding run in the seventh frame, picking up his staff’s loss.

[gameodds]3/240818/?r-1=349-43-192/us[/gameodds]

Back the ‘Under’ in K.C.

Early MLB betting odds opened Lester as a 120 road favorite, while first posting the ‘total’ at 8.5 (‘Under’ minus 120). The weather forecast in Kansas City calls for a 75 degree night, with calm winds blowing inward and a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms.

I am adding the ‘Under’ in this duel to Thursday’s sports picks, looking for a close contest to start the series.

Chen has done his part for the Royals since moving to a starter role, holding lineups to a combined four runs over his last four outings (24 IP). The ‘Under’ cashed at a 4-0 clip through that stretch, while going 14-3-1 in Kansas City’s last 18 home dates against foes with winning road records.

Lester has tossed some tight ball in his last two road starts, allowing three runs over 13 1/3 frames. The two-time All-Star faces a Royals club that has hit just .232 against lefties at home, with the ‘Under’ collecting at 6-1 in Kansas City’s last seven contests against a starting southpaw.

Chen and Lester were matched up at Fenway Park last August, with ‘Under’ backers cashing in a 4-3 win for the Red Sox. Look for another tightly tossed affair in this rematch, adding another cashed ticket for the ‘Under’ in the wager’s 9-4 mark in Boston’s last 13 duels that followed a victory.

MLB Pick: Bet BoSox/Royals game UNDER 8.5 at William Hill

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