Red Sox Are Hot, Tigers Are Not... An Underdog Pick For Today's Lid-Lifter

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 18, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

Mookie Betts and the Red Sox are on a roll with six straight wins, but they're small underdogs on the MLB odds today in Detroit for the series opener against the Tigers.

The Boston Red Sox are hot and the Detroit Tigers are not as the old American League rivals head into a long, 4-game weekend set at Comerica Park.

The lid-lifter for the series is an early start, 1:10 PM. Clay Buchholz is on tap to climb the hill for Boston, the veteran from Texas facing off against Detroit rookie Matt Boyd. BetOnline has established the Tigers as small home favorites with a -115 moneyline, the same shop also in line with the rest of the sports books offering 9½ for the total and favoring the 'over.'

Boston reaches Motown riding a 6-game win streak that has the Sox a game behind Toronto in the AL East. They had to wait out the rain in Boston on Wednesday night, the game eventually shortened to six innings for an 8-1 Boston win as -110 favorites on the MLB odds. Mookie Betts and the offense have received the bulk of the praise during the win streak, and rightfully so averaging more than 7 RPG the last week, but the pitchers have also been doing their jobs by holding opponents to 2.5 RPG.

Detroit appeared ready to take charge of the AL Central a couple of weeks ago with 10 wins in an 11-game stretch. The Tigers have since fizzled with eight losses the last 10 games, their bats primarily to blame for scoring less than two runs per contest in the defeats and just three runs total in being swept by the Royals to begin this homestand.


Will Buchholz Get Help From Daytime Start?
Many expected Buchholz to remain in the Boston bullpen where he has mostly served since late-June, but the Steven Wright's shoulder injury forced the Red Sox to put the troubled right-hander back in the rotation. He'll need a huge effort in this one to keep a starting job with Wright expected back next week.

The good news is Buchholz has been a lot better in the sunlight this season, fashioning a 3.90 ERA and hold batters to a .241 average in four starts and seven calls from the bullpen. The bad news is he hasn't won a game here in about six years, and the last time Buchholz pitched at Comerica, it was a disaster (4 IP, 7 ER).

Boyd suffered back-to-back meltdowns in June that cost him a trip back down to the farm but has been solid since his recall just before the all-star break. He's coming off a very impressive showing against the Rangers in their hitter-friendly park, holding Texas scoreless and to two hits in a 2-0 win last Saturday. Boyd faced the Sox once last year while still with Toronto, and it was a disaster as the lefty was chased without retiring a batter and charged with seven runs.


Sox Look To Avenge July Home Sweep
Boston has had the advantage in this series since the very first meeting in Detroit back in May 1901, and in recent years as well. The Red Sox have also done well at Comerica Park since it opened in 2000, winning 33 of the 61 games played here and taking two of three on this diamond last season when totals ran 2-0-1 O/U/P.

Detroit just pulled off a broom job at Fenway Park a few weeks back, two of the victories of the 1-run variety. The Tigers were underdogs in all three games, including a whopping +210 payback that turned into a 9-8 slugfest.

There is a chance of showers the entire series, Saturday having the best shot of rain, but bettors should expect all games to be played. Clouds and humidity will dominate today's game, a first pitch reading around 80º with a light WNW breeze (out to left).

Several conflicting trends make this free MLB pick tough, but I'll go with the Boston win streak in the end.

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox +107 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
Season: 41-34 (+9.50)

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