Our red-hot summer continued last night as we picked up another big underdog winner! We got the opportunity to back the first place Minnesota Twins with ten game winner Jake Odorizzi on the mound at +134 in Cleveland, against the Indians. I found value in the fact that Indians starter Trevor Bauer has a better name than he does results right now. While he was really good last year, that season seems to be an outlier when you look at his career as a whole. So, when I saw him as a significant favorite against Odorizzi and the Twins, I looked to exploit it.
The Twins nailed Bauer for a run in the first and left the bases loaded. They followed up that by getting to him again in the second, posting two more runs on the board and jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. Bauer settled down after that, ending his day with six innings pitched, allowing just the three runs, but the damage was already done.
Odorizzi did a great job of taking advantage of the early lead and pitched into the sixth inning while allowing just one run on three hits. The Twins played add-on late and won the game easily 6-2. It was a great value spot as the Twins have been the far superior team all season, and when you get the chance to back the much better team and get dog money, you have to take advantage of it. For today’s pick, we will head to Boston as the Red Sox host the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Boston Sunday for game three of a three-game series with the Red Sox in a repeat as last year’s World Series. The series is split at one game apiece after the Red Sox took game one and the Dodgers took game two last night. The Dodgers have baseball’s best record at 61-33 and have a whopping thirteen and a half-game lead in the race for the National League West Division title.
For Boston, the defending World Series champs started the season out very slow but have picked up the pace recently. But even with the recent turnaround in results, they are still stuck in third place, nine games back of the New York Yankees.
Starting for the Red Sox is David Price (7-2 3.24 ERA), and for the Dodgers, it is Hyun-jin Ryu (10-2 1.73 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine runs. The Dodgers are slight -107 favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 4:08 PM PST.
Hyun-jin Ryu is having a season for the ages. His 1.73 ERA is tops in all of baseball and the last time he was on the mound it was starting the All-Star game for the National League. His ERA would be even better if he hadn’t pitched at Coors Field where he got blasted for seven earned runs in just four innings pitched. If you throw out that wonky start in the rarified air of Denver, Ryu has not allowed more than two earned runs in any other start this year.
He has allowed one run or fewer in eleven of his seventeen starts. The Dodgers have done a lot of winning this season, and with Ryu on the mound, they are 12-5. The Red Sox are going to need to be at their absolute best if they want to put any runs up on the board against Ryu.
David Price has been solid this season. He seems to get hated on a lot by the media, but his results this year have been well above how he has pitched since joining the Red Sox a couple of years ago. His 3.24 ERA puts him in the top team in the league. And after losing six out of his first nine starts, the Red Sox have won six out of his last seven games.
This is a blockbuster matchup. But when you look at their actual records, the Dodgers are eleven games better than Boston. And as Herm Edwards likes to say, you are what your record is. So, when I say that the Dodgers are clearly the better team in this matchup, I think we can all agree on that. This Dodgers team can hit the ball, and they have the best pitching staff in the game.
It is hard to like the under in a game with two lineups as good as these two teams. But when you have two pitchers as good as Ryu and Price, nine runs seems mighty high. I feel that it will likely go under, something in the 4-3 range feels about right. But I don’t love it, as both of these teams are capable of hitting the ball hard, so I will look for more value on the side rather than on the total.
This game is basically even money as the Dodgers are laying just an extra two cents. So, the price isn’t going to influence my decision very much. When the number is this close, it just comes down to who do you think will win the game. And getting the opportunity to back what is the much better team, the Dodgers, at even money is just too much value to pass up on.
Somewhat shockingly, the Red Sox have been quite bad at home this year. While Boston is ten games above .500 on the road, they actually have a losing record at Fenway Park this year. So, if that is what is keeping this line a tight one, it isn’t going to scare me away from backing the better team at a great price. So, I will lay just a tiny amount of wood and get to back the best team in baseball. Give me the Los Angeles Dodgers at -107 tonight in game three from Boston!