Red Sox (-125) vs Blue Jays (+105)
There is yet another big series in the AL East this weekend that begins Friday when the Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox begin the day in first place and will try to continue their impressive June run against Toronto. At home, Boston’s moneyline is listed at -125 while the Blue Jays have a moneyline of +105.
Garrett Richards is scheduled to get the start on Friday. While his numbers look good with a 3.88 ERA, Richards has been hot and cold throughout the season. He owns a modest 1.52 WHIP with opposing batters hitting .271 against him. Perhaps even more concerning, Richards has home and road splits. During his four starts at Fenway Park this year, Richards has lasted just 18.1 innings while posting a 6.38 ERA.
That could be problematic against a Toronto lineup that’s capable of mashing. Granted, the Blue Jays can be hot and cold offensively, which we saw earlier this week against the White Sox. However, the quartet of Vladimir Guerrero, Randal Grichuk, Bo Bichette, and Marcus Semien has combined for 55 home runs this year. That’s some serious power, especially with Guerrero, Bichette, and Joe Panik all hitting for a high average over the last week and giving the Blue Jays plenty of run-scoring opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will rely on Ross Stripling to take the mound on Friday. Stripling has also had some ups and downs this year. He got off to a troubling start but has pitched much better lately. Over his last three starts, Stripling has pitched 17 innings, giving up just two runs on 11 hits. During that time, he’s lowered his ERA from 7.20 to 4.71 while earning back-to-back wins.
Stripling’s run of impressive starts will be put to the test against a dangerous Boston lineup. Over their last eight games, the Red Sox are averaging a healthy 5.5 runs per game, including a 12-run outburst against the Astros on Thursday. There’s been virtually no stopping the trio of J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers all season. At the moment, Bogaerts is red-hot while Enrique Hernandez and Christian Vazquez are also helping to supplement Boston’s offense.
On paper, this seems like it should be a tight matchup, but the sharps betting on this game are favoring Boston at a clip of around 96%. Over time, a few more should put their money on Toronto. However, a vast majority of the sharps are ignoring the problems that Richards has had at Fenway this year and putting their faith in Boston’s offensive prowess. Keep in mind that if the Blue Jays don’t hit home runs, they typically struggle to score runs. Meanwhile, the sharps remain just a little skeptical of Stripling’s recent success. If he pitches well, Toronto will have a good chance to win. However, the sharps seem to believe that the Red Sox can get to him and that Richards will do enough to give Boston a win on Friday.
Pick: Red Sox -125
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It is early on in the 2021 MLB season but we have enough data to start examining meaningful trends that will help you win more bets. We wanted to take a deeper look at the data to see which teams so far are the best MLB picks against the spreads, moneyline, and over under. Betting on baseball is difficult but with enough trend data you can set your self up for success and win more bets.
Against the Spread
This may come as a surprise but early in the 2021 season the best MLB pick against the spread is the Seattle Mariners, who have covered the spread in 75% of their games. Not only is Seattle undervalued by the sportsbooks and often set as a major underdog in their games, but this team is also winning baseball games straight up. It is very early in the season so we have a feeling this trend may not continue for the Mariners, but early on this is a team that has a lot of fight in them. Although they may not be a consistent pick straight up the Mariners should continue to be a good pick against the spread. Don't put all your eggs in the Seattle basket, but keep your eye on this team for the next week or so to see if they can continue their hot streak and win you a few bets.
Boston Red Sox
All we have heard for the past few years is that the Red Sox are in rebuild mode, but I don't think anyone has told the players that as the Red Sox are right there with the Mariners as the best pick against the spread so far in this season. The Red Sox are covering against the run live at a 75% rate early in the season and they are doing it easily. On average the Red Sox are covering the spread at +1.3 runs which means they don't even need the runs they are given on a night by night basis. The Red Sox bats have been hot early in the season and they will look to keep their pitching supplied with runs as we march forward on the year. We have a feeling the Red Sox pitching will cool down and at a certain point their hitters will come back to earth, but early on in this season the Red Sox may be the top MLB pick overall, as they are a good bet against the spread, moneyline, and the over under.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Seeing the Dodgers show up as one of the best picks against the spread this season should surprise no one. The Dodgers are an absolute juggernaut from the top of the line up to the bottom, and their pitching staff could be the best in baseball. We have a feeling that the Dodgers will keep this pace up for the rest of the year which is good and bad. The positive is that the Dodgers will keep winning games and covering the -1.5 or -2 runs that they spot the underdog every game, but the negative is that the sportsbooks will catch on and there will be less and less value on these Dodgers' lines. If the Dodger's bats are hot then there isn't a good reason why you shouldn't lay some juice and bet on Los Angeles.
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