Before placing MLB picks for tonight's matchup in Boston, consider that the Texas Rangers have seen their pitching staff get decimated by injuries this year.
The Texas Rangers Can Win Because…
If you look at the two pitchers here, they both have terrible ERAs, but one of them has pitched a very small amount of innings, meaning that with a larger sample size, he could reveal himself to be a better pitcher. This is Phil Klein of Texas, who has pitched under 25 innings this season and can’t fully be judged on his 7.71 ERA – he hasn’t thrown enough innings. On the other hand, Boston starter Joe Kelly has thrown 40 1/3 innings, and suffered an ERA of 5.58. Kelly has been mashed in a majority of his starts. Formerly with the St. Louis Cardinals, Kelly has not adjusted well to the much tougher American League, with the designated hitter. He gave up at least five runs in four straight starts from April 22 through May 9. He did calm down in his most recent start against Seattle on May 14, but he has still shown ample cause for concern. Texas can get to him.
The Boston Red Sox Can Win Because…
The pitcher who is opposing them is extremely inexperienced and doesn’t have a lot of innings under his belt. Phil Klein will take the ball for Texas, and he has a 7.71 ERA. That isn’t really encouraging in itself, but what’s more concerning for the MLB betting odds underdog Rangers is that this is going to be Klein’s first big-league start. Klein is in his second year at the major-league level, but he’s pitched a total of 23 2/3 innings in his career. He’s pitched only 4 2/3 innings this season. He’s made a bunch of relief appearances, none of them longer than one inning in 2015. This emergency start, meant to try to stitch together the Rangers’ rotation, cannot be a welcome prospect for a Texas club which lost Yu Darvish before the season started due to injury. So much stress and strain has been placed on Ranger pitchers who are comparatively inferior to Darvish. Someone has to eat innings, and if the other starters aren’t able to do the job, a spot starter such as Klein has to enter the picture. Boston should be able to feast off Klein, especially after he goes through the Red Sox’ batting order the first time. In the third through fifth innings, Klein – a pitcher not used to throwing multiple innings – will have to reach very deep and do something he’s never done before at the major-league level. The fact that Fenway Park is a hitter-friendly park will only decrease the odds that Klein can and will be effective. What’s more about Klein is that he hasn’t made an appearance in the majors since April 14. This is a nightmarish situation for Texas, and Boston should benefit from it.
One pitcher for Boston is a mess. One pitcher for Texas hasn’t worked much. Kelly is struggling, but Klein hasn’t shown he can pitch four or five innings. That leads us to an over for our MLB picks in this one.
MLB Pick: Over at Bovada