MLB Picks: Red Sox Are Losing Steam On The Back End Of This West Coast Road Trip

Scott Kazmir

Drew Martin

Friday, August 5, 2016 8:27 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 8:27 PM UTC

Wright's knuckleball is not dancing like it used too. Plus, the Red Sox lineup has struggled recently against lefties. Let's take a look at this matchup for the best MLB pick.

Boston Red Sox vs L.A. Dodgers  
The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome in the Boston Red Sox for the opening game of a three-game series. This is the backend of an eleven game road trip for the Red Sox who are currently 2 games out of first in the American League East, behind both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles. The Dodgers similarly are two games out of first in the National League West behind the San Francisco Giants. Boston is 4-4 on this current road trip after Brock Holt delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning Thursday for a 3-2 victory over Seattle and a split of a four-game series. An important series for both squads means a pivotal opener tonight in Dodger Stadium featuring the knuckleballer Stephen Wright vs the south paw Scott Kazmir. A couple key metrics point towards the hometown Dodgers to take game one as part of the MLB Friday card night cap.

The Red Sox have had success when facing lefties when you factor in their full season long numbers, although recently Boston’s lineup has had major issues when facing lefty starters.  On top of that, Hanley Ramirez (sprained left wrist) has missed the past two games after slipping in the dugout and being injured following Tuesday's game in Seattle. Red Sox manager John Farrell said he would prefer not to play veteran David Ortiz at first, where Ramirez usually starts despite their being no use of the designated hitter in a NL ballpark. Ramirez wrist injury gives the Red Sox huge lineup construction issues that put them at a major disadvantage with National League rules.

Pitching for Boston tonight is knuckleballer Steven Wright who has won four straight decisions but has allowed 11 runs and 19 hits in back-to-back no-decisions covering 9 2/3 innings. He concluded July with a 6.23 ERA in six starts. His knuckleball is not dancing like it was in April and May. Wright also has not had the same control with it walking more batters recently.  The Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir won seven consecutive decisions before falling to Arizona in his last start when he gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. The 32-year-old hasn't walked a batter in his last three outings and four of his past five starts.

I recommend backing the Dodgers tonight as the moderate favorite on MLB odds. The Red Sox are prime fade candidates on the back end of a long road trip with key injuries in the middle of their lineup. The Dodgers have also gotten an improved effort from their bullpen that is now sporting a very impressive 1.07 bullpen WHIP. Take the Dodgers as your MLB picks -131 at Bodog.


Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -131
Best Line Offered: at Bodog

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