Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers – MLB April 29

8:05 p.m. ET – Red Sox (+135) at Rangers O/U: 9

The 16-9 Red Sox travel to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Thursday to take on the 10-15 Rangers in the opener of a four-game series. Boston has won three in a row, including a two-game sweep of the Mets in which they scored only three runs in two games but secured two wins behind great starting pitching from Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta.

Texas has lost five of its last six games, including a tough 4-3 loss to the Angels on Wednesday in which they allowed four runs in the top of the first and were unable to recover from that early deficit.

About the Red Sox

Boston Red Sox LogoThe Red Sox currently reside in first place in the American League East, despite the national media expecting the team to have another down season. Boston scores 4.9 runs per game, sixth-most in the big leagues. The Red Sox rank second in the majors in hits per game with 8.9. The catalyst of the Boston lineup has been right fielder J.D. Martinez.

Martinez is batting .337 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. Shortstop Xander Bogarts leads the team with a .348 batting average and has contributed three home runs with 12 RBI. Center fielder Alex Verdugo has been a spark plug this season, batting .313 with three home runs and 13 RBI despite coming into the year as a rotational player.

The pitching staff has been a pleasant surprise for Red Sox fans, as the team allows only four runs  per game, which is ninth-fewest in Major League Baseball.

About the Rangers

Texas Rangers LogoThe Rangers ranked last in the 2020 season in runs scored, and this season they rank near the bottom of the pack once again with only four runs scored per game. Second baseman Nick Solak has been a bright spot this season, however, batting .319 with seven home runs and 14 RBI. Texas needs right fielder Joey Gallo to get going if they hope to stay relevant.

Gallo is hitting .224 with two home runs and nine RBI in the early going. Gallo is no stranger to a low batting average, but he typically ranks near the top of the league in home runs. The Rangers’ pitching staff allows 4.7 runs per game, sixth-highest in all of baseball.

Texas is in an obvious rebuild and its starting rotation is evidence of that with plenty of veteran arms brought in to eat up innings throughout the course of the grueling 162-game season.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Boston Red Sox -1½ (+135) -115 O 9 (-105)
Texas Rangers +1½ (-160) -105 U 9 (-115)

The Pitching Matchup

Veteran left-handed starter Martin Perez is toeing the rubber for Boston. Perez is 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched across four starts this season. Perez has not made it out of the fourth inning in either of his last two starts against the White Sox and Mariners, respectively.

The Rangers are giving the ball to right-hander Kyle Gibson, who is 2-0 this season with a 2.31 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched spread across five starts. The numbers are misleading for Gibson however, with his first start of the year resulting in only one out recorded and five earned runs crossing the plate. Gibson has thrown 27 innings since Opening Day and has allowed only two runs across those four subsequent starts.

What’s the Bet?
The Red Sox are going to be one of the most popular bets amongst the public on Thursday evening. Boston is 8-1 away from home this season and Texas is 4-8 when playing on its home diamond. However, the best bet for this game is going to be to fade the public and look to take the Rangers as short home underdogs.

Here’s why: Texas has the starting pitching advantage with Kyle Gibson on the mound. He has been dominating since his first start of the year. Perez is trending in the other direction for the Red Sox and even the struggling Rangers lineup should be able to score some runs in the series opener. Boston has won three in a row, but they won those games with pitching and were not putting up many runs in those contests. Two or three runs will not be enough to win a game in which you are starting Martin Perez.

Take Texas to win outright on Thursday night behind another strong outing from Gibson.
The Bets
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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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