MLB Picks: Red Sox vs. A's Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Thursday, June 19, 2014 2:13 PM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 19, 2014 2:13 PM GMT

Oakland has taken the first three games of this series, including a 2-1 extra-inning victory Saturday. Can the A's complete the sweep Sunday afternoon (4:05 pm ET)? Can Boston avoid it? And can we come up with one more winning free MLB pick on this series?

 

22nd June
RedSox vs. Athletics Game 4

By: Ron Patrick

 

Sunday's Line
In the early betting Oakland and Tommy Milone were favored by about -125 over Boston and Jon Lester, with a total of eight runs. But many shops later dropped the A's to around -115, and the total to 7.5.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":286382, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Saturday Re-Hash
Coco Crisp knocked in the winning run for the second time in this series, a 10th-inning single that gave Oakland a 2-1 victory. The A's triumphed as -140 favorites on Saturday's MLB betting board, and the game, as we had hoped, stayed 'under' its total of 7.5 runs.

Boston has now been held to a total of 15 runs over its last eight games.


Sunday's Starters
This is a rematch of a game played at Fenway Park back on May 3, a 6-3 Sox victory.

Milone (5-3, 3.56), by our strict standards, is five-for-13 on quality starts this year. Last time out he gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings against Texas, and over his last four starts he's given up 10 runs in 24 1/3 innings.

On the season Milone has allowed 75 hits in 78 innings, walked 22 and struck out 49. Oakland is 7-6 in Milone's starts, with the totals going 7-5.

In that game back on May 3 Milone got nicked for six runs and six hits, including three dingers, in just four innings.

Lester (8-7, 3.20) is nine-for-15 on quality starts, and two for his last two. Most recently he held Minnesota to one run through 6 1/3 innings, and just before that he limited Cleveland to one ER through 7 2/3 innings.

For the season Lester has allowed 97 hits in 98 innings, walked 25 and whiffed 105. Boston is 8-7 in Lester's starts, with the totals skewing toward the 'unders' by a 10-5 margin.

Lester has started three times against Oakland since the beginning of last season, including a masterful performance on May 3 in which he allowed just one hit through eight innings, whiffing 15. Overall, in those three most recent starts against the A's, Lester has allowed six runs in 20 innings, with Boston winning two of those three games.


Free Pick for Sunday
The first three games of this series have all played 'under' the totals, and with these two starting pitchers going there's good reason to believe that trend will continue today. So we'll go with the 'under' 7.5 runs, at the +100 offered at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Sunday's series finale.  

 

21st June
RedSox vs. Athletics Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Saturday's Betting Line
As of Saturday morning Oakland and Jesse Chavez (6-4, 2.93) were favored by around -150 over Boston and Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.84), with a total of 7.5 runs.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":286430, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Friday Re-Hash
Coco Crisp drove in the winning run with a two-out base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 4-3 Oakland victory Friday night. The A's won as -155 chalk on Friday's MLB betting line, but couldn't quite cover for us on the run line. 

Also, Friday's game, which was tied at 3-3 through two and a half innings, ended up staying 'under' its total of 8.5 runs. 


Saturday's Starters
Chavez is eight-for-14 on quality starts this season, and has allowed more than three ER just three times. Most recently he held the Yankees to one run through six innings, and just before that he limited the Angels to two ER through six frames.

On the season Chavez has allowed 82 hits in 86 innings, walked 21 and struck out 78. Oakland is 10-4 in Chavez' starts, with the totals going 9-5, mainly because of some very good run support.

This will be Chavez' first-ever start against Boston.

De La Rosa, who's been filling in on a partially depleted Boston starting rotation for the last three weeks, has done a decent job, going two-for-four on quality starts. Last time out he held Minnesota scoreless on one hit through seven innings of a 1-0 Sox victory.

Through his four starts De La Rosa has allowed 21 hits and walked seven in 25 innings, striking out 23. Boston is 2-2 in his starts, with the totals going 0-3.

Down at Triple-A Pawtucket this spring De La Rosa went 2-3/3.04, with a 1.22 WHIP.

This will be De La Rosa's first-ever start against the A's.


Free Pick for Saturday
The first two games of this series have played 'under' the totals, and we like that trend to continue. So we'll go with the 'under' eight runs, at the -115 offered at Will Hill, for today's free MLB pick

 

20th June
RedSox vs. Athletics Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Friday's Line
In the early betting Oakland and newly acquired Brad Mills were favored by around -135 over Boston and Felix Doubront, with a total of 8.5 runs. The A's could also be played at around +150 on the run line.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":286532, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Thursday Re-Hash
Oakland scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings Thursday night, then tacked on one more in the seventh to back a quality start from Scott Kazmir in a 4-2 victory. The A's won as -165 chalk on Thursday's MLB betting board, and to our delight covered on the run line at a price of +135.

Boston has now scored a total of 11 runs over its last six games.

On a personnel note Sox slugger David Ortiz didn't start Thursday's game, batting once late as a pinch hitter, but he is expected to be in the lineup Friday night.


Friday's Starters
Lefty Mills will be making his first ML appearance since July of 2012, when he made his one and only start of the season for the Angels. He was just picked up by Oakland from Milwaukee.

Mills was pretty good down at Triple-A Nashville this spring, going 4-2 with a 1.56 ERA, allowing just 51 hits in 75 innings while compiling a 77/18 K/BB ratio.

Mills has started once previously against the Red Sox, but that came back in 2010, when he was pitching for Toronto.

Fellow lefty Doubront (2-4, 5.12) will make his first appearance in a month, after doing time on the DL with a sore shoulder. On the season he's just two-for-nine on quality starts, and while he had put together a couple decent outings in a row, holding the Reds and Twins to two runs through 11 2/3 innings, his last outing went poorly, giving up five runs in four innings against Toronto back on May 20.

On the season Doubront has allowed 52 hits in 46 innings, walked 19 and struck out 31. Boston is 4-5 in Doubront's starts, with the totals going 5-4.

Doubront started once against Oakland last year, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 9-6 Sox victory.


Free Pick for Friday
We picked a winner with Oakland on the run line Thursday, and even though they're going with an unknown quantity in Mills, we like the A's to continue their winning ways Friday. And since we like to take chances we'll go with Oakland on the run line again, getting +156 at Pinnacle, for Friday's free MLB pick.

 

19th June
RedSox vs. Athletics Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Sox-A's Betting Lines
In the early betting Oakland and Scott Kazmir were chalked at around -165 for Thursday's game over Boston and Jake Peavy, with a total of 7.5 runs. The A's could also be found at around +140 giving the 1.5 runs on the run line.


Series Set-Up
Oakland just took two of three games at home from Texas, winning Wednesday's rubber match 4-2. The A's have won five of their last six series, and 12 of their last 18 games.

At 44-28 Oakland leads the AL West by five games over the second-place Angels.

Boston, meanwhile, just swept three games at home from Minnesota, winning Wednesday 2-1 on consecutive Napoli-Ortiz homers in the bottom of the tenth inning. But the Sox have won just one of their last five series, going 7-9 in the process.

At 34-38 Boston sits in fourth place in the AL East, 6.5 games behind first-place Toronto.

This is the second meeting this season between these teams; six weeks ago the Sox took two of three games from the A's at Fenway, with all three games staying 'under' the totals.


Thursday's Starters
Kazmir (8-2, 2.05) is 10-for-13 on quality starts this year, and six for his last six, excluding that game he got ejected from a month ago. Last time out Kazmir held the Yankees to one unearned run over six innings, and over his last four starts he's given up just three ER through 28 innings.

On the season Kazmir has allowed just 66 hits in 88 innings, while compiling a K/BB ratio of better than 3/1 (72/20). Oakland is 12-2 in Kazmir's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' 8-6.

Pitching for Cleveland last year Kazmir started once against the Red Sox, allowing two runs in five innings of a 7-4 Indians defeat.

Peavy (1-4, 4.53) is seven-for-14 on quality starts, but while he's coming off a good outing, he's struggled over the last five weeks or so. Last time out he held Cleveland to one run through six innings, but in his six starts previous to that he had given up 28 ER in 38 innings.

For the season Peavy has allowed 93 hits in 87 innings, walked 33 and struck out 67. Boston is just 5-9 in Peavy's starts, with the totals skewing toward the 'unders' by a 10-3 margin, mostly because of poor run support.

This will be Peavy's first start against the A's since April of 2012, when he was with the White Sox.

This series includes two of the better bullpens in baseball. Boston ranks fifth with a 2.80 ERA while going 18/24 on save opportunities, and Oakland ranks sixth in ERA at 2.95 while going 14/23 on save chances.


At the Bat
Boston ranks 10th in team OBP at .323 but only 23rd in scoring at 3.9 runs per game. The Sox have been held to a total of nine runs over their last five games.

Oakland ranks No. 1 in scoring at 5.2 RPG, first in OBP at .337 and third in homers with 82. The A's have scored 37 runs over their last five games.


Sox-A's Betting Trends
Boston has skewed toward the 'unders' this season by a 43-26 margin. The Sox have played five 'unders' in a row and nine in their last 10 games.

However, the totals have leaned toward the 'overs' this season in A's home games 20-14. And according to the forecast the wind will be blowing out toward right-center at about 15 MPH tonight at the Coliseum.

Share your thoughts on this game and get valuable feedback

Injury Update
Boston is playing without both Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks, who are on the DL with various ailments.


 Free Pick for Thursday
Oakland owns the best offense in baseball, while Boston has struggled with the sticks lately. So we're leaning toward the A's. And since we like to take chances we'll go with Oakland on the run line, getting +140 at Bookmaker, for our free MLB pick on this series opener.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":287741, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
comment here