Questions About Red Sox Pitcher, So Back Tigers in Series Opener

Jason Lake

Friday, April 7, 2017 1:10 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 7, 2017 1:10 PM UTC

Is Steven Wright OK? If he is, the Boston Red Sox should be a viable baseball pick when they visit the Detroit Tigers this Friday afternoon. If not – hoo boy.

John Farrell isn’t considered one of the better managers in Major League Baseball. He may have even cost the Boston Red Sox the World Series last year. On August 7, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Farrell used All-Star knuckleballer Steven Wright as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz. It was Wright’s first big-league appearance on the basepaths. He injured his shoulder diving back to second base.

And that might be it for our hero. Wright went on the disabled list, made a couple of ugly starts in late August and was shut down for the season. Now he’s about to make his 2017 debut in Friday’s game (1:10 p.m. ET, MLBN) against the Detroit Tigers, and at press time, the Red Sox are +110 road dogs on the MLB odds board. Uh-oh.

You Can’t Have Everything

That might even be a bit optimistic for Boston. FiveThirtyEight gives the Red Sox a 46 percent chance of winning this game; pop that into our SBR Betting Odds Converter, and shazam, you get +117. They very much prefer Detroit’s scheduled starter, Michael Fulmer (3.76 FIP), the reigning AL Rookie of the Year. Fulmer was sixth on last year’s MLB money charts, racking up 12.92 betting units on a team record of 19-7.

But why is everyone so down on Wright (3.77 FIP)? It’s not like he tore his labrum; Wright was dealing with bursitis and some irritation in his rotator cuff. He still finished 3.39 units in the black last year, leading Boston to victory in 15 of his 24 starts. And Wright looked very good in spring training, allowing one run in 13 1/3 innings. Hmmmm.

Maybe we’ll go ahead and stick with the Tigers for our MLB picks. They catch a break with Boston All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts on the bereavement list and out for the series. Plus Wright was healthy last July when he coughed up eight earned runs to Detroit (+200 away) in a 9-8 loss. We hope he wasn’t just a flash in the pan during the first half of the year, but we’re not about to recommending risking any money on Wright at this point. Check in with us again after a couple of starts.

Free MLB Pick: Tigers -115Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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