Here are our predictions and a pair of MLB picks as the Boston Red Sox, with their brooms ready, send out ace Buchholz against the Oakland A's on Sunday afternoon.
A's-Sox Sunday Betting Odds
Most of Sunday's MLB betting market opened Boston and Clay Buchholz at around -160 over Oakland and rookie righty Kendall Graveman, with a total of eight runs, and both those figures were holding steady in the early betting.
Boston has taken the first two games of this series by identical scores of 4-2. The Sox now lead the season series with the A's four games to one.
Before placing your MLB pick today, note that both games in this series have played UNDER the totals.
Oakland (23-35) is now 4-1-1 on the UNDERS over its last six games, while Boston (26-31) is 6-2 on the UNDERS over its last eight contests.
Buchholz (3-6, 3.82) is seven-for-11 on quality starts this season, working on a string of four in a row. Last time out he tossed eight innings of shutout ball against Minnesota, and over his last four starts he's allowed just five earned runs through 30 2/3 innings. Boston is only 3-8 in Buchholz' starts this year, but not all that is his fault, considering the Sox have lost three of his starts by the score of 2-1.
Buchholz started once last year against Oakland, throwing 6 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball in a 7-1 Boston victory.
Graveman (3-2, 5.56), by our tough baseball handicapping standards, is just one-for-seven on quality starts this year, but Oakland has won five of his seven starts. Also, the A's have won his last three starts, as he's held opponents to six runs over his last 17 2/3 innings.
This will be Graveman's first-ever start against Boston, which could give him an advantage, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Sunday's Batting Splits
Oakland ranks ninth in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .322 team OBP, while Boston ranks 12th against righties with a .321 OBP.
A's-Sox Sunday Free Picks
Buchholz owns the advantage in the pitching match-up, and that's good enough for us in this spot. And because we like to take chances, in search of better prices, we'll play the home team on the run line. Also, both teams are trending UNDER the MLB odds recently, and the UNDERS are 17-11 in games played at Fenway Park this year.