We picked up the split yesterday in our double bet. We took the Yankees as underdogs, and the over eight and a half runs in their road game against the Oakland A’s. I was shocked to see the Yankees as underdogs against anybody, as they have almost always favored this year, so I picked up the juice and hoped for a slugfest between two of the best offenses in baseball.
And in the end, that is what we got. Both teams came out swinging hard and the teams combined for seven runs in the game’s first two innings. The over coasted in by the fifth inning and we locked up that part of the bet easily. But unfortunately for us, after a quick start, the Yankees bats went cold, and they dropped the game 6-3, never scoring again after the second inning.
I have been saying this all summer long, and I will say it again today. This Oakland A’s team is the real deal. I am not saying that they are winning the World Series, but nobody is going to want to play this team in the playoffs. In true Billy Beane fashion, the A’s have taken another group of misfits and castoffs and turned them into contenders. For today’s pick, I will break down the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves.
The Boston Red Sox are in Atlanta Tuesday for game two of a three-game series with the Braves. This could very well be a World Series preview as both of these teams are in first place in their respective divisions. The Red Sox took game one last night in a much closer than it probably sounds, 8-2 final.
The game was a tight one all afternoon long, and the Red Sox were clinging to a 3-2 lead heading into the eighth inning before exploding for five runs in the game’s final two frames to pull away for the blow out win. With the win, the Red Sox increased their lead over the second place New York Yankees to eight and a half games. With the loss, Atlanta remains four games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies who also lost yesterday.
Starting tonight for the Red Sox is Rick Porcello (15-7 4.27 ERA), and for the Braves it is Sean Newcomb (11-7 3.85 ERA). The Red Sox are -123 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 PM PST from SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
The Boston Red Sox have been so good for so long this season it is almost as if people are forgetting about them. We hear about the Yankees making moves to pick up Andrew McCutchen and the Brewers trading for several impact players. But what we don’t hear too much right now is the fact that the Red Sox are a whopping fifty-one games over .500 and have run away with what is likely the best division in all of baseball.
This team is so good that them winning their division and getting back to at least the American League Championship Series seems to be a foregone conclusion. They have the starting pitching, bullpen, and the bats to absolutely win the World Series this season.
Rick Porcello is very quietly having a solid season for the Red Sox. His fifteen wins are fifth in the AL, and his 171 K’s are just outside on the top ten. Porcello tends to get outshined by Red Sox ace, Chris Sale and this mighty Boston offense, but the guy has been great for Boston and is a big reason why they are going to win their division by double digits.
Porcello has been a little shaky recently as his ERA in August was an inflated 5.11, but he is still finding ways to win games. Despite not producing the greatest stats in the last two months, the Red Sox have won nine out of his last thirteen starts.
Sean Newcomb is a guy that was getting a lot of well deserved attention in the first half of the season. The guy finished the month of July with a 2.71 ERA on the season, he was pitching his brains out. But since then, he has struggled badly. In July and August he finished 2-3 with an ERA of nearly six runs. In three of his last four starts, he has allowed at least five earned runs.
Once a very reliable winner for the Braves, they have now lost eight out of his last fourteen starts. In his lone start against the Red Sox this season, Newcomb got hammered for three runs in just three innings of work and picked up the loss for his efforts.
Both of these pitchers are struggling right now. Neither one of them can be completely trusted to get the job done tonight. But you know who I can trust to produce results? This Boston Red Sox offense. They are the best offense in the land as they lead the majors in runs scored, slugging percentage, and batting average.
This team can hit on just about anybody, and I expect them to swing a hard bat again tonight. We saw that in last night’s game when they banged out eight runs on ten hits. The Braves were forced to use five relievers in last night’s game so don’t be surprised if they are a little limited for arms tonight.
I see this as a higher scoring game, and if there is any team in the majors you want to back right now in a slugfest, it is the Boston Red Sox. I am a big Braves fan this season, what they have done with this group of inexperienced youngsters has been great for the game. But this Boston Red Sox team is on a date with destiny, and I see them as the best team in baseball by a wide margin.
Getting a chance to back the best team in baseball at just -123 is just too much value for me to pass up on. Give me the Boston Red Sox as small road favorites tonight in game two from Atlanta at -123!