How awesome was David Ortiz’s pregame speech in Boston yesterday? The FCC let the F-bomb go on air AND didn’t fine anyone involved. The emotion was resilient, defiant and passionate in Fenway Park and when David Nava’s three-run home run gave them a 4-2 lead in the 8th, the impossible was achieved – something was even cooler than Neil Diamond singing Sweet Caroline LIVE.
It was an awesome day in Boston. It was not such an awesome day for me and my picks at the sportsgeek.com. I thought Houston’s Phillip Humber would string together a fourth-straight good start to kick off the year. Instead? He gave up 8 runs and recorded ONE out before being rescued off the mound. It got uglier from there, en route to a 19-6 loss. It was just our sixth losing day of the season, but it was a particularly ugly one… fortunately, momentum is only as strong as the next day’s starting pitcher. So let’s get back on track with a pick for Sunday.
Kansas City Royals -130 at Boston Red Sox +125 (Total: 8.5)
Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.20 ERA) vs. Allen Webster (first appearance)
Allen Webster will get the ball in interesting circumstances for his first major league start. The game is rare evening Sunday game that isn’t the ESPN Game of the Week. It was necessitated by Friday’s game being cancelled while Boston completed the city-wide manhunt to capture the bombing suspects. Tonight won’t be quite the same outpouring of emotion as yesterday’s matinee, but it will still be electric tonight in Beantown. Webster is the organization’s fourth-rated prospect and could be a nice shot in the arm if one of their starters goes down at any point this season.
Kansas City got off to a nice start to the season, but has dropped four of their last six to fall to 8-7 overall. Meanwhile, Boston remains on fire, winners of seven straight to push their record to a major-league best 12-4. They have gotten incredible starting pitching, with a 2.31 staff ERA. Their bullpen has been good, but not quite as dominant, allowing a 3.57 ERA. It will be incumbent upon Webster to give them six solid innings tonight to not rely too heavily on the pen.
An interesting stat; Kansas City is hitting 13 points better as a team, .264 to .251, yet the Red Sox average nearly a run and a half MORE per game. The difference? The power in the bats and the sharpness of the eye. Boston averages 0.3 more homeruns per game, and has gotten two more base runners per game via the walk.
I’m going to ride momentum and emotion and take Boston in the series nightcap at -130. I’m also going UNDER the 8.5 total, as 14 of the last 16 games at Fenway Park have been UNDER the run total.
Free Picks: Boston Red Sox to WIN -130, Run TOTAL UNDER 8.5