Minnesota Twins (13-14) at Boston Red Sox (20-11)
The Boston Massacre Part 2?
Fenway Park is the venue, and Clay Buchholz looks for what would be a league leading 7th win as he’s been nearly perfect this season. The Boston Red Sox are flying high, and at the moment they are leading the American League East Division.
In 44 2/3 innings, Buchholz has given up just 5 earned runs while striking out 47 batters, as the vet is displaying pure dominance over the plate.
The Boston right-hander will be opposed by Vance Worley, who is still looking for his first win of the season and carries an 0-4 record with a 7.22 ERA.
He’s coming off of a beating from the heavy hitting Detroit Tigers, where he allowed 6 runs, 10 hits, and 3 HR, in just 4 2/3 innings. The only thing that Worley has going for him is that he held Boston to 1 run in his only career start against them, but on paper, this looks like a disaster waiting to happen to the Twins.
Even though the MLB odds are calling the Red Sox a heavy favorite in this matchup, I’m shocked that they’re only listed at -195 and not something in the -250 range. Although I’ve had an enormous amount of success with my MLB picks, I haven’t had great success with my last 2 heavy favorites. Therefore, if I’m looking to take Boston (and I haven’t stated that), it would be runline only at -105.
Even though we’re focused on the pitching matchup, Boston has lost 3 straight games and Minnesota is coming off of a 4-2 win over Cleveland. The Twins have some legitimate hitters in Willingham, Mauer, and Morneau.
We can also look at the total, which is listed at 8.5 +100, and I somewhat like the under here. I’m going to buy half a run and take the UNDER in this game, as Buchholz should keep the runs down and Worley could surprise some people.
MLB Pick – Minnesota/Boston UNDER 9 -125 (Bought ½ run) at 5 Dimes
Philadelphia Phillies (14-18) at San Francisco (19-12)
The Phillies travel cross-country after a 14-2 beating at the hands of the Miami Marlins, in what should be the best pitching matchup of the night, as Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.46) takes the mound for the Fightin Phils to face Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 1.55) and the red hot San Francisco Giants. The Giants are heating up, and they are currently on a 6 game winning streak.
The Phillies look to recover from another Roy Halladay disaster, and even though they have a decent offense, everything points to a San Francisco win here.
The Good and the Bad
The good thing for Philadelphia is that Cliff Lee has been dominant in his career against San Francisco. In 5 career starts against the Giants, Lee is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.63. He’s pitched 43 innings against S.F. and has walked just 4 batters, while striking out 36. Now that’s Dennis Eckersley-like control when Eckersley was a reliever for the Athletics.
That said, Lee has been average at best lately. In his last 3 starts, he hasn’t recorded a victory and has given up 12 runs on 26 hits in 18 innings. However, against Bumgarner and the Giants, one can’t feel confident with Lee’s recent starts.
Except for Ben Revere’s 2 for 2 against Bumgarner, no other Philly player has had success against Bumgarner.
Running down the Giants lineup, only Hunter Pence has had success against Cliff Lee. Pence is 3 for 8 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. Pence is also coming off of a 2 for 4 night with 4 RBI in a win over Los Angeles.
I like San Francisco in this spot. They have too much momentum to be stopped by a team that was man-handled by the Miami Marlins. I’m not in a “juice-laying” mood and Lee has been kind of weak lately. For the second of my free picks, I am taking the Giants as a run-line (small bet) to make it 7 wins in a row.
MLB Pick- Giants -1 ½ +165 at 5 Dimes