By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 97-80-4 (55%) *
[1:05 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-106) – Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
TB: Blake Snell – L (3-5, 3.68 ERA/1.11 WHIP)
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – L (6-3, 4.88 ERA/1.37 WHIP)
Blake Snell ran into a hot Tigers’ offense in his last start, allowing seven hits and six runs over 4 1/3 innings. That outing was certainly a misnomer, considering the electric lefty had only allowed six runs in his previous 30 1/3 innings.
Today, Snell will take on a Red Sox team he’s dominated since the start of last season. Snell has collected the win in each of his last three starts against Boston and hasn’t allowed more than two runs against them in each of the last four. The Red Sox offense hasn’t looked good in this series, and it helps Snell’s case that Mookie Betts is only hitting .209 against left-handed pitching. As for the rest of the Red Sox offense against lefties, they’re swinging and missing at a massive 31.8% K-rate and own a putrid .260 xwOBA over the last 14 days.
Eduardo Rodriguez gets the benefit of facing a Rays team that has the highest K-rate (28.8%) against left-handed pitching this season. While E-Rod’s numbers don’t look great on the surface versus Tampa Bay, it’s worth noting that he’s allowed three runs or fewer in six of seven starts against them.
I fully expect E-Rod to match Snell’s performance today, giving us a nice pitching duel for most of the day. Good news for the under here, as the IRT has dropped -0.3 for both sides.
Fun fact: Dating back to last season, the Red Sox are 29-7 in games that Rodriguez has started.
* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 3 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2 *
[1:10 p.m. EST] Minnesota Twins (1.5-run line: -144) at Detroit Tigers
MIN: Jake Odorizzi – R (8-2, 1.96 ERA/0.96 WHIP)
DET: Ryan Carpenter – L (1-2, 6.23 ERA/1.35 WHIP)
The Twins are the number one offense in baseball, particularly against left-handed pitching, and their 5.8 IRT ranks third-best on the entire slate. Today, they’ll take on a lefty in Ryan Carpenter who actually has worse numbers at home. Carpenter has gotten lit up at Comerica Park, allowing at least seven hits in all three starts there, which totals out to an 8.44 ERA and .338 opposing batting average.
Jake Odorizzi takes the mound for Minnesota, and he’s been fantastic allowing NO RUNS in six of his last seven starts – I repeat: NO RUNS in six of his last seven starts. Whoa! Not to mention, the Twins have won each of the last nine times Odorizzi was on the bump.
Look for the Twins to roll easily in this one, with Odorizzi getting more than enough run support to make it work.
* Final Score Prediction: Minnesota Twins: 8 – Detroit Tigers: 0 *
[3:05 p.m. EST] Oakland Athletics (1.5-run line: -126) at Texas Rangers
OAK: Frankie Montas – R (7-2, 2.83 ERA/1.17 WHIP)
TEX: Drew Smyly – L (1-4, 7.93 ERA/1.86 WHIP)
It’s a huge mismatch of starting pitchers at Globe Life Park today, so look for the A’s to take this one easily.
Drew Smyly takes the mound for the Rangers, and he’s been beaten up like he’s owed people money of late. Smyly had eerily-similar stat lines in each of his last two starts, allowing eight hits and seven runs against the Mariners and Orioles. That’s a major problem, considering the A’s rank first in ISO (.229) and tied for second in wOBA (.357) against left-handed pitching this season.
Oakland owns a magnificent .420 wOBA against lefties over the last 14 days, hence why they have the highest IRT (6.4) on the entire slate.
Frankie Montas has been simply dominant this season, and he’s allowed two runs or fewer in six of the last seven starts. The splits actually work in favor of Montas as well, as he’s 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA in seven road starts, while going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three daytime starts too.
* Final Score Prediction: Oakland Athletics: 10 – Texas Rangers: 3 *