Braves at Red Sox – Free Pick for June 23rd

Atlanta Braves +127 at Boston Red Sox (Total: 10.5)

Randall Delgado (4-7, 4.12 ERA) vs. Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.14 ERA)

It’s not every day you see a run total in double digits in Major League Baseball game, especially between two teams with winning records and staff ERA’s under 4.00 and 4.31.  This means that the game would could end at 5-4 and not even be close to covering.  It’s an absolutely enormous total when considering that 89% of MLB games are set between seven and nine runs.

So the question is, can these two ball clubs muster enough runs to cover the enormous total or will these two (obviously) lightly regarded pitchers put forth surprising efforts and slow down these two offenses?

Atlanta got a surprising, and incredibly encouraging, rebound performance from Jair Jurgenns in his return from his minor league demotion.  The Braves won 4-1 and will look to take the series from the Red Sox this evening on Fox’s Game of the Week.   The Red Sox are hoping for a similar surprising result from recent acquisition Franklin Morales who will be making only his second start of the season for the Red Sox after being picked up from the Rockies.  His first start was a solid effort in a no-decision, allowing just two runs and striking out a career-high nine batters.

Both of these teams have some offensive punch, especially the Red Sox, who boast the fourth best run differential in MLB, despite the amazing string of injuries they’ve suffered and endured this season.  They have a tough decision tonight, when they must decide if they are going to continue to play the hot hand of Will Middlebrooks at third or return to now-healthy veteran Kevin Youkalis.  It’s not an awful spot to be in as both can hit; the red-hot rookie and the veteran contact hitter extraordinaire.

Boston has won seven of ten and has scored a bundle of runs in the process.  Meanwhile, Atlanta has scuffled a bit, going just 4-6 and averaging just 2.6 runs per game (and ten of their runs came in an outburst against the Yankees, remove that game and the average drops to 1.8).  I like Boston to win tonight, but am going to make my official pick banking on Franklin Morales giving them a decent start and keeping the total reasonable.  We get a little wiggle room to play with tonight at a total of 10.5, so I am going to take advantage of it.

Free Pick:  Total Runs Scored UNDER 10.5 (-105)