It’s common as handicappers to bemoan the occasional bad beat – let’s face it, all of us know that is part of the business; sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, no matter how well a game is handicapped, strange things happen in sports. And though the bad beats linger longer than the wins, the end goal is to win more often (or wager with more value in the right opportunities) than we fall short. Since the anguish of the bad beat is so strong, I have to take a moment to celebrate the amazing, fortuitous win I notched last night.
If any of you had the OVER on the Yankees v. White Sox game and watched, you enjoyed a thrill. The Yankees led 4-3 with two outs in the ninth (the total was 7.5), Mariano Rivera on the hill with an 0-2 count to strikeout master Adam Dunn. Inexplicably Dunn laces a single into left, scoring the tying run and pushing the total OVER. I don’t usually get that up or down over wins or losses, but that win was a thriller… Suffice it to say that if I had a chance to have changed my wager with Adam Dunn down 0-2 in the count against Mo, I would have…
Let’s see if we can get the job done again today, albeit with a little less dramatics…
Boston Red Sox -121 at Kansas City Royals +111 (Total: 8.5)
Jon Lester (10-5, 4.36 ERA) vs. Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.03 ERA)
The team with the best record in the American League (Boston Red Sox) takes on a team that would be media darlings for their ridiculous play since the All Star Break (Kansas City Royals, 15-4) were it not for the even more ridiculous play of the Tigers, Braves and even the Pirates and Dodgers. Something has to give sa these two teams begin a great four-game weekend series.
Jon Lester’s record is solid at 10-5, but his ERA of 4.36 suggests he has benefited greatly from fantastic run support. But will he get that same support tonight? The Royals have tapped into Bruce Chen’s fountain of youth. Since moving Chen back into the starting rotation he has allowed just four earned runs in 24 innings stretching over four starts. His WHIP is a tidy 0.67 and his strikeout to walk ratio is a fantastic 21:3. In short, Chen has been fantastic. Even more in his favor is the fact that the Red Sox hit nearly 35 points lower and average 1.27 less runs per game against left handed pitching.
Lester hasn’t been extra-sharp lately, or frankly all season – but he has been very good against Kansas City. His 6-2 record and 1.67 ERA against the Royals is the lowest against any team in the league.
It all adds up to a low-scoring affair. I’ll take the UNDER the big total of 8.5.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 8.5