It was a pretty light Thursday slate of MLB action last night, but we managed to have a winning day thanks to the Boston Red Sox 3-1 win over the struggling Blue Jays. Tonight things get back to full tilt with every team in action and some fantastic weekend series kicking off.
Let’s take a look at a few of the better matchups across the country tonight.
Boston Red Sox +140 at Texas Rangers -150
Felix Doubront (3-0, 4.24 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (1-2, 3.38 ERA)
The teams with the two best records in the American League face-off tonight in the first game of what should be a fantastic and entertaining weekend series. The starting pitchers tonight are a good example of the importance of run support and some good fortune. Doubront has an ERA over 4, yet enters with a perfect 3-0 record (Clay Bucholtz is 6-0 – nice to pitch for a 20-8 team!), while Derek Holland has an ERA nearly a full run lower, yet enters with a losing mark. It won’t be much easier tonight, considering the potent lineup he will be facing.
These teams are pretty evenly matched, but the Rangers have had their way with Boston over the past few years, posting a 25-12 record against them, the best record of any Red Sox opponent during that span.
But it feels like things are a little different in Boston this season. Their current streak of 33 days atop the division is the longest in franchise history. I checked MLB.com twice to make sure that ridicukous stat was true, as it felt like it absolutely couldn’t be – but apparently it is!
We fared well with Boston last night, and I’m sticking with them at a favorable number tonight (+140) simply for the value of the pick.
Free Pick: Boston Red Sox to WIN +140
St. Louis Cardinals +102 at Milwaukee Brewers -110 (Total:
Shelby Miller (3-2, 2.05 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (1-2, 2.53 ERA)
You can bet this game means a little something extra to Kyle Lohse facing his former mates tonight in Milwaukee. He was St. Louis’s most consistent pitcher and a fringe Cy Young candidate last year, despite the larger reputations and attention paid to Carpernter, Wainwright, etc. The Cardinals haven’t missed him too badly yet this season, as their starting pitching has been the best in the National League, but Lohse will try to make them feel a little of that sting tonight.
A big reason the loss of Lohse has been absorbed is the emergence of Shelby Miller. The 22-year old has pitched fantastic this season, posting a 2.05 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.01. However, he was roughed upa bit in his last outing and lasted only 5 2/3 innings after giving up three runs, seven hits and walking three batters. It’s possible, like many rookies and young pitchers, after a few starts hitters get a little better prep and knowledge and start to fare slightly better.
I like Lohse, who should know this lineup very well, to have a nice outing and to lead Milwaukee to a home win to kick off a very important early season Central series.
Free Pick: Milwaukee Brewers to WIN -110