Fallen under .500
Cleveland is now 33-34 overall on the season after dropping a 5-2 decision to Boston as +145 road underdogs Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.
The Indians are hoping to turn things around with first baseman Nick Swisher returning to the lineup for the first time since May 26, but he went 0 for 4 in last night’s series opener. MLB handicappers will find that the franchise is a disappointing 3-8 as underdogs of +125 to +150 away from Progressive Field this season.
Ortiz is the key
Boston needs Ortiz to carry the offense heading into the summer months, as he’s tallied nine RBIs in his last eight games, but he’s still batting just .159 over his last 24.
The Red Sox have won 19 of their last 26 meetings against the Indians at this venue, including seven of the last eight. Over the last two-plus seasons, the club is 40-31 as home favorites of -125 to -150, with the UNDER going 35-33-3 in that situation.
Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (4-4, 4.61 ERA) has registered back-to-back wins, including a 3-2 road victory over the Texas Rangers last time out, as he allowed two runs and five hits over 5.2 innings of work.
The right-hander is 1-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven road games—issuing 18 walks and striking out 31 batters in 38.2 combined frames. In eight lifetime starts versus the Red Sox, Masterson has compiled a 4-3 record and 3.66 ERA.
Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (7-4, 3.18 ERA) has watched the squad alternate wins and losses over his last four trips to the mound, as he comes off a 5-3 road victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA in seven home appearances—serving up just a single home run in 46 combined innings. Lackey has a 3.93 ERA in 18 career efforts versus the Tribe.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Red Sox as one of their MLB picks, as the Indians have dropped their last seven games with umpire Tom Hallion behind home plate.
Free MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox