Boston Red Sox -106 @ Chicago White Sox -104 (Total: 8)
John Lester (0-2, 6.00 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (3-0, 1.88 ERA)
Perhaps reports of Boston’s demise were a little exaggerated. The Sox have won five in a row since their epic collapse against the Yankees last Saturday, and have done it both with solid pitching and explosive offensive output. They have scored 44 runs over their five game winning streak, and including the Yankee debacle, are averaging nearly nine runs a game in their past six. Meanwhile, they have allowed just 19 in their past five. That’s a pretty solid formula to win most games. Score a ton. Give up a few.
However, things are going to get a little tougher tonight with Jake Peavey on the mound for the “other” Sox. Peavy finally looks like the former Cy Young Award winner they dealt for three seasons ago. It has been a long road back for Peavey, but if this early season indication is a fair sample – he is back in dominant form. Peavy’s 1.88 ERA is impressive, but his 0.74 WHIP and 26 K’s against just 4 walks is what really pops off the page. He has averaged over seven innings pitched in his four starts as well.
Tonight is a fantastic matchup where something has to give; either Boston’s offensive explosion or Jake Peavy’s mound dominance.
There is an old adage in baseball that good pitching beats good hitting. I’m going to roll the dice with that theory tonight and stick with Peavey at home and the Sox at a nearly flat line (-104).
Chicago has been, like the Red Sox, a very streaky team so far this season. They enter as losers of four straight, but won four in a row before that. The big reason for their slump is the quieting of their bats. They’ve mustered just ten runs over their four losses; however, their pitching has been the issue against Boston, allowing ten runs a piece in each of the last two contests.
However, momentum is only as important as the next day’s starting pitcher, and I think Peavy will put a temporary cooling on the Boston bats. Boston has the second best batting average in all of baseball, and is first in the AL in runs scored. However, they are still dead last in pitching ERA at 5.88. I think Lester gives a better performance tonight than he has so far in 2012, but I like Peavy and the Sox to out-duel him.
Free Pick: Chicago White Sox -104