June 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM #52359
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Boston Red Sox (44-30) vs Detroit Tigers (39-31)
Thursday June 20 Comerica Park – Detroit, MI
Probable Starters: BOS: John Lackey (R) DET: Jose Alvarez (L)
Moneyline: Detroit -126, Boston +116
The Boston Red Sox are still in first place but things are tightening up in the American League East, especially with Toronto streaking towards .500 at the bottom of the pile. Boston dropped the final game of their series against the Tampa Rays but one of the reasons they are sitting on top, just ahead of Baltimore, is that they have done well against their division mates.
This is a series between two first place teams but neither is playing that well right now. Boston is definitely the team with less margin for error…but they do have the fewest road losses in the American League too.
Starter John Lackey has had a nice rebound this season. Ever since joining Boston he has been pretty much garbage but this year – with a nice ERA – 3.08 – he is giving the Red Sox a chance to win some ball games.
Unfortunately for Red Sox backers Lackey has been a tale of two pitchers this year: home and away. At home he has a sterling ERA of 1.04 but on the road that more than quadruples.
That is not a good sign as he hits the road against one of the American League’s top hitting clubs.
Detroit seems to have the luxury of being on autopilot these days and with Miguel Cabrera cooled off some there doesn’t seem much to talk about with the Tigers. These teams have yet to meet this season but last last year the home team’s dominated going 8-2. Its interesting that the Tigers are favoured even though they have a very unproven commodity on the the mound.
To me that says that the books might be a little more bullish on Detroit than they have justified this season. They are not even +2 units for the year.
Tigers starter Jose Alvarez is making just his second Major League start on Thursday night. It will be tough to top his first outing where he held the Indians to 3 hits and 1 run over 6 innings while striking out 7. The young lefty may not be all that intimidating to look out but he seems to be getting better with seasoning and was a natural callup after posting a 2.78 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning down at AAA Toledo.
Not the most highly touted arm in the minors for sure but he may still have some advantage against hitters that are unfamiliar with him. O/U Pick Score Prediction: Detroit 6 – Boston 2
This one is a tough one because I really don’t trust Lackey but at the same time I really don’t know much about Alvarez. I am banking on his newness being an advantage and that Tigers lineup being able to chase Lackey out of the game.
The value with Detroit is pretty good and if you wait until closer to game time you may even get a little more due the extreme differences in name recognition of the hurlers.
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