MLB Picks & Series Coverage: Red Sox vs. Rangers

Darin Zank

Friday, May 9, 2014 11:59 AM GMT

These two teams have split the first two games of this series, following Boston's 8-3 win Saturday. So the favorites have won both games so far. Should we stick with that trend for our free pick on Sunday's series finale (3:05 pm ET)?


11th May
Red Sox vs. Rangers Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


Sunday's Line
In early betting Boston and John Lackey were favored by around -115 over Texas and Robbie Ross, with a total of 9.5.


Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Ross (1-3, 4.74), a converted reliever, is just two-for-seven on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last two. Most recently he got nicked for six runs in 5 1/3 innings by Colorado, and just before that he gave up six runs in less than four innings against Oakland.

For the season Ross has allowed 50 hits in 38 innings, with 10 walks and 29 strikeouts. Texas is just 2-5 in Ross' starts this year, with the totals going 4-3.

Ross has started once already this season against the Sox, back in April at Fenway, holding them to one unearned run through 5 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits while dancing around six walks, although the Rangers lost that game 4-2.

Lackey (4-2, 3.72) is five-for-seven on quality starts this year, and three for his last three. Last time out he held Oakland to two runs through six innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed five runs in 22 innings.

On the season Lackey has given up 46 hits in 46 innings, walked 11 and struck out 43. Boston is 4-3 in Lackey's starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 4-3 margin.

Lackey has started three times against Texas since the beginning of last season, giving up just four ER and 16 hits in 18 innings. Somehow, the Sox lost two of those games, while all three stayed UNDER the totals.

Valuable MLB Picks for Sunday Night!

Free Pick for Sunday
Boston and Lackey own the advantage in the pitching match-up, and the price isn't too bad. So we'll go with the Red Sox, at the -112 offered at Bet365, for our free pick for Sunday.


10th May
Red Sox vs. Rangers Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


Saturday's Line
As of Saturday morning most books were listing Boston and Jon Lester at around -125 over Texas and fellow lefty Martin Perez, with an OVER/UNDER of 8.5.


Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Perez (4-2, 3.59) got off to a very good start to this season, but has gotten roughed up his last couple of times out. Through his first five starts Perez allowed six ER; but over his last two starts, against the A's and Rockies, he's allowed 13 ER and 15 hits in just 9 2/3 innings.

For the season Perez has allowed 41 hits in 47 2/3 innings, walked 15 and struck out 31. Texas is 5-2 in Perez' starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 4-3.

Perez has started once already this season against Boston, giving up four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 10-7 Rangers victory up at Fenway back on April 8.

Lester (3-4, 2.59) is coming off a masterful performance last Saturday against Oakland, when he threw eight innings of one-hit, shut-out ball and struck out a ML-season high 15. So he's now five-for-seven on quality starts this year, having allowed 43 hits in 48 2/3 innings, with just 10 walks and 58 strikeouts.

Boston is only 3-4 in Lester's starts, but the totals have leaned toward the UNDERS 6-1.

Lester started twice against the Rangers last year, giving up six ER and 12 hits in 12 innings; the Sox split those two games.


Free Pick for Saturday
Lester is coming off a great outing, while Perez is coming two bad ones. But in thinking both guys might trend back toward normalcy we'll take Texas, as a home dog getting +115 at Pinnacle, for our free pick on Saturday's contest


9th May
Red Sox vs. Rangers Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


The Lines
As of early Friday morning Texas and Yu Darvish were favored by about -150 over Boston and Clay Buchholz, with a total of 8.5 runs. 

Also, The Greek was chalking Texas at -125 to win this series, with the Sox getting +105.

The Situation
Texas just lost three of four games to Colorado, avoiding the sweep with a 5-0 victory Thursday. So the Rangers are just 3-8 over their last 11 games. At 18-17 Texas sits in third place in the AL West, two games behind first-place Oakland. 

Boston just swept a quick two-game series with Cincinnati, winning Wednesday 4-3 to complete a 5-3 home-stand. At 17-17 Boston occupies fourth place in the AL East, two games behind first-place Baltimore.

This is the second meeting between these teams this season. Back in early April the Sox took two of three games from the Rangers at Fenway, with two of those games staying UNDER on the totals.

Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Darvish (2-1, 2.87), by our strict standards, is three-for-six on quality starts this year, but 0 for his last three. Most recently he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Angels, and over his last three starts he's allowed 10 runs in 15 2/3 innings.

For the season Darvish has allowed 36 hits in 37 2/3 innings, walked 11 and struck out 42. Texas is 5-1 in Darvish's starts this year, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 4-2.

Darvish started once last year against Boston, giving up three runs in seven innings, whiffing 14 in a 4-3 Texas victory.

Buchholz (2-2, 5.63) is four-for-six on quality starts this year, and two for his last two. Last time out he held Oakland to one run through 6 1/3 innings, and just before that he limited Toronto to three runs in seven innings.

On the season Buchholz has allowed 42 hits in 32 innings, walked nine and struck out 24. Boston is 3-3 in games Buchholz has started, with the totals going 4-2.

This will be Buchholz' first start against Texas since July of 2012. 

In the battle of the bullpens Boston ranks ninth with a 3.14 ERA and is 10-for-13 on save opportunities, while Texas ranks 26th with a 4.46 ERA and is eight-for-12 on save opps.

Check out live MLB World Series Betting Lines

At the Bat
Boston is averaging 4.2 runs per game, ranking second in team OBP at .340; that OBP sits at .339 against right-handed pitching. 

Texas is also averaging 4.2 RPG, ranking fourth in OBP at .337, but dead last in stolen bases with three. Yes, that's three steals for the Rangers this season. And that OBP drops to .320 against right-handed pitching.

Sox-Rangers Betting Trends
Boston has trended toward the UNDERS this year by a 21-12 margin.

The totals have also trended toward the UNDERS in Rangers home games, by a 9-8 margin. 

Texas has won 30 of the last 46 meetings with Boston.

Free Pick for Friday
It's tough to go against Darvish, but he hasn't been his sharpest as of late, and we like Boston's bullpen. So we'll take the underdog price and go with the Red Sox, at the +140 offered at Will Hill, for our free pick on Friday's contest.