Pitching Mismatch Adds Value To Red Sox When Facing A Weary Tigers Team

Red Sox

Monday, July 25, 2016 5:05 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper looks to build his bankroll as he digs into the line between the Tigers and Red Sox on Monday night. Read on as he discovers an advantage in the pitching matchup worth backing.

Detroit Tigers vs Boston Red Sox
Two teams in second place in their respective divisions meet on Monday night with hopes of keeping up with their division leaders. The Detroit Tigers (51-48) limp into Fenway Park to play the Boston Red Sox (55-41) after losing two games on Sunday. The first of those games being a delayed game from Saturday night. Either way, after playing two the Tigers have had to fly to Boston to play in this game, so they might be a little red-eyed at the moment. The Red Sox are favored at -128 on the moneyline in this game at Bookmaker after the line opened up as high as -145. The O/U total is sitting at 10 at most sportsbooks, although at Heritage is posting a 9.5 total at the moment.

 

Drew Pomeranz
Taking the mound for the Red Sox in this game is Drew Pomeranz, who was netted by the Sox in a trade with the San Diego Padres over the All-Star break. Pomeranz is having a break out season on all accounts, but there are some red flags in the midst of it. Luckily for the Red Sox, those red flags have to do with Pomeranz already exceeding any previous season’s innings totals in late July and not with how he has actually pitched. On the season, Pomeranz has posted a 2.83 ERA, 119/43 K/BB rate, 1.12 WHIP, and .194 batting average allowed. He’s been especially tough on righties this year and has only allowed a .183 batting average to that group.

His first start with the Red Sox didn’t go well, though, as the left-hander only made it through 3 innings last week against San Francisco at home, giving up 2 home runs and 5 earned runs in the process. Fenway is definitely not the pitcher’s park that Petco is, so there will be an adjustment there, but Pomeranz spent two years in Colorado so he should know all about that.

 

Justin Verlander
Detroit’s starter, Justin Verlander, is quietly having another successful season, and will exceed the innings he pitched in 2015 with this start. His strikeouts are back up to a level that we haven’t seen since 2009 at 9.45 K/9. On the year, Verlander has posted a 3.74 ERA, 139/37 K/BB rate, 1.08 WHIP, and .215 batting average allowed. He’s had a great July so far as well, posting a 1.63 ERA in the month and allowing a subterranean .162 batting average.

Verlander is only 3-6 against Boston in his career, but you can chalk that up to poor run support, as he has posted a 2.99 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. The Under has cashed at an 8-3 rate for Verlander against Boston. That trend continues when looking at team statistics as well, where games at Fenway have cashed on the Under five out of six times in the last three seasons.

 

Conclusion
With two pitchers having fine seasons and Detroit coming in pretty tired, my first thought was a play on the Under. In fact, the total of 10 looks a little high and out of place, so I had to go to some secondary analysis to figure out why that is the case. Look no further than the weather expected in Boston this evening, where it is expected to be 88 degrees with a 20 mph crosswind blowing out to right field. Verlander’s 45.7% fly ball rate might not play well here, while Pomeranz and his 37.4% rate will have an advantage. With Detroit coming into this game tired I like the advantage of the home team as well, and will be taking the Red Sox at -126 at Heritage as my Monday MLB pick.

 

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox -126
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
2016 YTD MLB: 36-21-3, +15.17 Units

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