It sure does feel good to run good! We picked up another winner last night, our ninth win in out last eleven bets, when we backed the Boston Red Sox on the road, against the San Diego Padres. I felt that even though the Red Sox were small favorites (-119) that they were being undervalued. The public tends to put way too much emphasis on the starting pitching matchup when evaluating a game, and the hate for Red Sox starter, Nathan Eovaldi, seemed a little extreme considering this guy was the hero of the Red Sox championship run last year.
And Padres starter, Dinelson Lamet, while he had looked decent in his last couple of starts, is just in his second year in the big leagues, and I felt that he was going to get a rude awaking against this powerful Red Sox lineup. So, I laid a little wood and expected Boston to find a way to win the game. And that is exactly what happened.
Boston jumped on Lamet early and often, as he got tagged for four runs in the games first four innings. On the night, he lasted just five innings and picked up a no-decision. And while Nathan Eovaldi once again looked shaky, he is being used more like an opener right now than a starter, and the Red Sox were quick to pull him at the first signs of trouble.
This game hit the ninth inning tied up at four runs apiece, and Boston managed to score a run on star closer Kirby Yates to take the lead in the games final frame. Boston actually left the bases loaded in the ninth, so it could have been much worse for Yates. Brandon Workman came in and pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for Boston, and we picked up the win.
For Boston, the win was a big one as they did manage to make up some ground on the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics, who both lost last night. Boston is now just six games back and closing of the second wild card as the season winds down. For today’s bet, we will stay right here in San Diego, as the Red Sox and Padres wrap up their series.
The San Diego Padres host the Boston Red Sox tonight in game three of a three-game set, looking to avoid getting swept. The Red Sox have outscored the Padres 16-4 in the first two games of this series and would love to pick up the sweep tonight in the series finale. Boston has won seven out of its last nine games as they desperately try to fight their way back into the wild card chase in the American League. For the Padres, they have lost eight out of their last eleven games, and the lineup looks way out of sorts without superstar rookie Fernando Tatis Jr on the field.
Starting today for the Red Sox is Brian Johnson (1-2 6.58 ERA), and for the Padres it is Joey Lucchesi (8-7 4.20 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine runs. The Padres are -113 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from PETCO Park in San Diego.
Brian Johnson has not been very good this year for the Boston Red Sox. He has been used sparingly between the bullpen and the starting rotation, making fifteen appearances, with six of them coming as starts. His ERA of 6.59 certainly leaves something to be desired. But when you take a little closer look at Johnson’s results, it really was just one really bad outing that is weighing down his stats.
On April 5th, he got blasted for seven runs in just over one inning of work. After that game, he was shut down with elbow inflammation and didn’t pitch again for months. And with limited use since then, he hasn’t had enough innings to wipe that rough patch from his results. Now, that doesn’t mean he has been great besides that, but more just average than awful. The former first round pick is being used more like an opener, similar to Eovaldi, and if he struggles, they will be quick to pull him from the game.
Joey Lucchesi has been hot and cold this season for San Diego. At times he looks great, other times, not so much. Right now, he is looking very mediocre as in the month of August he 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts. And it could be even worse for Lucchesi as he has nine walks this month and has done a good job of working into and back out of jams.
One thing that has been constant for Lucchesi this year no matter how well he manages to pitch is that the Padres tend to lose a lot when he is on the mound. The Padres have lost nine out of his last twelve starts, and on the year, they are just 10-14 when Lucchesi starts.
This is another bad number. Yeah, Brian Johnson has been weak this year. But since returning from injury, he has been somewhat better, and if he is ever going to look good, it will be tonight against a Padres team that just can’t hit the ball without Tatis in the lineup. And we saw last night that the Red Sox are keeping their starters on a short leash and are playing playoff-style baseball. If Johnson struggles early, expect him to get pulled before the Padres can do much real damage.
And when you look at Joey Lucchesi, isn’t not like he is some world-beater. The guy is averaging just over one winning a decision a month since April. Yeah, he has looked ok recently against the likes of the weak swinging Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners.
But when he has faced teams that can hit the ball like this Red Sox team has, he has not been good. He has faced the Dodgers twice in the last two months and has given up a combined seven earned runs. And against the Cubs late last month, he got blasted for six runs in just four innings. I think Boston finds a way to put multiple runs up on the board against Lucchesi today.
The Red Sox have dominated this series thus far. They came into this set as the far superior team, and it has shown in both of these games. Yeah, maybe you can give a slight nod to Lucchesi over Johnson on the mound, but that isn’t going to scare me off the fact that I get to back the defending world champs, who are on fire right now, getting dog money against an out of contention Padres team.
I have preached it all season long, quit making all of your bets based on just the starting pitching matchup! Yes, the starting pitching matchup matters, a lot. But when you see a number like this one where the clearly more talented team is getting dog money, you must exploit it. And that is just what we will do today. Give me the Boston Red Sox today as they finish off the sweep of the Padres in sunny San Diego!