Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (4-2, +2.64 units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
Our last dalliance with the MLB odds proved to be fruitful as we won two of three in the Dodgers/Giants series I covered last week. We are now officially above .500 and have moved into the black which is exactly where we intend to stay.
Let’s take a look at this game between the Twins and the Red Sox for our Baseball Picks and see if we can continue to make a dent in our bookmaker’s wallet. But keep your eyes tuned to the Weather Channel because as of this writing it is gray and misty in Boston, therefore a rainout would not be a complete surprise.
Minnesota Twins (15-15, +5.6 units)
The Twins are winners of their last two consecutive games with the Red Sox and have clawed their way back to respectability and a .500 record. If they continue to exhibit anything near the offensive explosion from last night’s game it won’t matter what kind of effort they get from their pitching staff. The Twins smashed their way to a 15-8 victory, scoring more runs at Fenway than they have in over 47 years. Justin Morneau continued his assault on Sox pitching last night as he added to his lifetime .345 average against Boston with two hits and three RBI’s.
Kevin Correia will take the bump for the Twins tonight as he tries to rebound from his poorest pitching performance of the season when he allowed four runs in only five innings of work Saturday afternoon in a 7-3 loss to the Indians. Despite that subpar outing, Correia still owns a 2.83 ERA to go along with a 1.14 WHIP on the season.
Boston Red Sox (21-13, +5.4 units)
It’s hard to argue with the offensive production the Red Sox have churned out this season when you consider they are ranked 3rd in batting average (.269), on base percentage (.345) and slugging percentage (.449) while producing 167 runs, good for 4th in the majors. Last night they continued to torch opposing pitchers, crossing the plate eight times but even that wasn’t good enough to get the W. Dustin Pedroia has feasted on the home cooking, contributing three more hits last night and upping his Fenway average this season to .469 in his last eight games while batting .353 on the season at home.
Boston is in the midst of their first legitimate tailspin of the season, losing five of their last six games as their pitching staff has withered, allowing an average of seven runs per game during that span. The perpetually injured John Lackey will return to the mound for the Red Sox after allowing three runs on six hits in a mere five innings of work during last Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Texas. Lackey has not pitched against the Twins since the 2010 season but holds a 3-0 record and a 2.08 ERA over his last four starts.
John Lackey is who he is which is a guy who hit the jackpot by being the best in a weak class of free agents four years ago. While he has fared well historically against the Twins how much does that truly matter considering he hasn’t faced them in three years?
On the flipside we have Kevin Correia who started the season like a house on fire but had a disappointing outing in his last start. But when you really think about it, how disappointing was it really? Correia came into this season with a career 4.76 ERA and is a fourth starter on most MLB rosters. I would say his most recent performance against Cleveland was probably the beginning of a regression to the mean for an average pitcher who happens to be boasting a very above average ERA of 2.83.
So, we’ve got a couple of ham n’ eggers on the mound tonight and if it were not for the high humidity and thick air in Boston, I might advise a play on the Over but instead we’ll stick to playing the right side which just happens to be the team with more talent at the plate and in the field, the Boston Red Sox.
Play Boston – 149 for 3 units at the Greek.