It’s been an interesting few days for baseball’s two brightest young stars. Mike Trout became the youngest player in American League history to hit for the cycle, while Bryce Harper in consecutive days alligator-armed a warning track fly ball to LOSE his team a game, then got on base and scored the game-winning run in the tenth inning to bring his club back above .500 for the season.
The two have made for great highlights all season long, but it just doesn’t feel like the odds-on-favorite World Series matchup is going to happen, as neither team has held up their end of the bargain, much more significantly the Angels’ implosion in Los Angeles. We are at the quarter-post mark in the MLB season as we head into Memorial Day weekend, so both have plenty of time to get on track, but it would be wise to do so sooner than later…
It’s a pretty light day of MLB action, but let’s pluck out a winner on an otherwise slow sports-day (the NBA has the night off before treating us to a week straight of Conference Final games –assuming the Pacers and Grizz can extend the series far enough).
Cleveland Indians +132 at Boston Red Sox -140 (Total: 9)
Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.65 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (2-4, 4.27 ERA)
Life hasn’t been kind for Ryan Dempster since leaving the National League and the now seemingly-friendlier confines of Wrigley Field. He was abysmal last season in the stretch run, and a clean start with Boston hasn’t been a disaster, but it hasn’t been very good either. He is the only Red Sox starter with a losing record, and he has been hit hard at times this season.
Meanwhile, McAllister is just another chapter in the lengthing feel-good story that is the 2013 Cleveland Indians. Tribe fans are cautious, as they’ve been in this spot as recently as last year before a total July swoon took them from contenders to one of the three worst teams in the league post-All Star break. So far this season, things have been stable and positive, even on the heels of dropping 2 of 3 to the Tigers, it’s a good feeling around the Jake.
It will be an interesting night in Fenway as former Manager, Terry Francona makes his first return to Fenway in a visiting uniform, and his first ssince his acrimonious firing two seasons ago. I imagine the reception will be a warm one for the man who brought two World Series championships to a city that went nearly 100 years without one…
I also think it’ll be a warm reception for his team. I expect them to dent the plate against Dempster, as well as get another nice pitching outing from 25-year old Zach McAllister. I like the value at +132 in a game with a starting pitching advantage, as well as a potentially emotional game for the young Tribe wanting to support their manager.
Free Pick: Cleveland Indians to WIN +132