Chicago White Sox +115 at Boston Red Sox -125
Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. Clay Bucholtz (8-3, 5.56 ERA)
For much of the season Boston Red Sox fans complained that Kevin Youkalis was killing them with his play on the field. Now, it seems they are absolutely correct.
Kevin Youkalis is batting .500 with four RBIs, 3 runs scored and a trip over the Green Monster in his return to Fenway Park for the first time in a visitor’s uniform. The chants of “Youk” are still reigning from the bleachers, but I imagine, as gleeful as cheering Youk being dually-purposeful as a “boo” for Bobby Valentine, the fans have seen JUST about enough of Youkalis for one series.
The Red Sox send struggling starter Clay Bucholtz to the mound tonight in an attempt to close out the series with a second straight big win. However, his pitching performances the last two times out do not inspire a lot of confidence. He has lasted just 8 2/3 innings and allowed nearly as many runs in the process. While his 5.56 season ERA has baffled Sox fans, what should have them more amazed is the fact that he is somehow 8-3 despite it all. What a blessing absurd run support is, right?
However, Bucholtz has never fared well against Chicago, lugging a 6.53 ERA in three career starts, and even his accustomed run support could be a challenge. The Sox suffered ANOTHER potentially devastating injury this week, losing David Ortiz to the 15-day disabled list. However, Dustin Pedroia makes his anticipated return tonight, to hopefully bring another big bat to the Boston party.
For the White Sox, Jose Quintana has been another example of excellent pitching from an unexpected source. The 23-year old hurler has had some struggles (while mot suffering a loss) in two of his last three outings, but has been fantastic for most of the season.
The White Sox have had some fun at Boston’s expense, winning 8 of their last 10 games at Fenway Park. I know that Boston has a vaunted lineup and that Quintana has struggled a few times lately, but getting a starting pitcher with an ERA nearly THREE FULL POINTS lower AND +115 odds in the process? It seems like a pretty good wager to me. I like Youkalis to finish off his bittersweet homecoming in style and for Bucholtz to have trouble with a power-laden White Sox lineup.
Give me the White Sox and a nice plus-money line to get the win.
Free Pick: Chicago White Sox to WIN +115