It's a division leader against a team desperate to stay relevant in the playoff picture as Texas and Boston meet for three games at Fenway Park beginning Monday night. How might this series play out on the MLB betting boards?
Texas got this series back to even with a 6-3 victory
Tuesday night, as newly acquired Ryan Dempster rebounded from a lousy first
start for his new team with a quality outing.
The Rangers won Tuesday, as we hoped they would, as +105
underdogs, and the game played 'under' its total of 9.5.
The Rangers now lead the season series with the Sox five
games to two.
Texas has also taken a one-game lead on the Yankees in the
battle for the best record in the American League.
Josh Beckett (5-9, 4.54), after missing his last scheduled
start because of a sore back, will go for Boston Wednesday against Matt
Harrison (13-6, 3.17) for Texas.
Josh Beckett is just eight-for-18 on quality starts this season,
and 0 for his last four. That doesn't include his last time out, when he left
after two-plus innings because of his back. Since the All-Star break Beckett
has allowed 12 ER and 25 hits through 21 2/3 innings.
In his two starts this season against Texas Beckett has
allowed seven runs and 16 hits in 14 innings.
Harrison, meanwhile, is 13-for-21 on quality starts this
year. His last time out Harrison held the Royals to two runs on eight hits
through 6 2/3 innings last Friday, although before that he had been touched up
for nine runs in 13 innings his previous two starts.
This will be Harrison's first start this season against Boston;
last year, in three starts against the Sox, Harrison gave up 10 ER on 23 hits
through 19 innings.
Texas is 14-7 in Harrison's starts this season, while the
Sox are 7-11 in Beckett's starts.
Also, the 'over/under' are a combined 13-24 in games started
by those two this season.
Odds and Trends
Most sportsbooks are listing the Rangers at around -110 for
Wednesday's game, with a total of 9.5.
Texas can also be found at upwards of +145 on the run line
on several MLB odds boards.
Early betting on this game has seen a 60/40 lean on both the
Rangers and the 'over.'
Free MLB Pick
We don't usually like going with public betting sentiment
but we'll take Texas for Wednesday's pick.
Boston took the opener of this series Monday night 9-2,
getting a quality start from Aaron Cook and eight doubles on offense. The Sox
won as +135 home dogs Monday night against struggling Rangers starter Yu
Darvish, and the game sneaked 'over' its total of 10 as Boston scored three
runs in the bottom of the eighth inning before Texas' Adrian Beltre led off the
top of the ninth with a meaningless solo homer.
Boston sends lefty Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36) to the mound
Tuesday against Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.82) for Texas.
Lester is 9-for-22 on quality starts this year, but only
one for his last five. His last time out he gave up three runs in eight innings
against the Twins, walking none and striking out seven. But in his four outings
previous to that Lester had been bombed for 25 ER on 29 hits over 18 1/3
innings. That 11-run, four-homer bout against Toronto a couple weeks ago didn't
In his only outing this season against Texas, back in April,
Lester got bopped for seven runs in just two innings of work.
Dempster, meanwhile, is 10-for-17 on quality starts, but his
debut for his new team wasn't one of them. In his first start for the Rangers
after coming over from the Cubs last week Dempster got rocked for eight runs in
less than five innings against the Angels last Thursday. Over his last four
starts for Chicago, though, Dempster had given up seven ER on 20 hits in 23
Dempster has started once already this season against Boston,
back in June for the Cubs, and got a win by holding the Sox scoreless on five
hits through seven innings.
As of Tuesday AM most MLB odds boards were listing
the Red Sox as favorites of around -115, with a total of 9.5.
Early betting on Tuesday's game has seen about 65 percent of
the play come in on the Rangers, while over 70 percent of the action on the
total has come in on the 'OVER.'
Free MLB Pick
We got a little lucky with the 'OVER' on Monday's game, but
we'll take it. As for Tuesday we expect Dempster to rebound, so we'll go with
Texas and the underdog price.
The Texas Rangers were slumping a bit there a while back, but look like they may have regained their footing. The Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, just can't do much right this year.
Texas just took two of three games in Kansas City over the
weekend, missing out on the sweep by losing 7-6 in extra innings Sunday. So
after winning just seven of their first 16 games after the All-Star break the
Rangers have now won four of their last five, scoring 41 runs in the process.
Texas now leads the AL West by 5.5 games over Oakland and
six games over the Angels. The Rangers are also tied with the Yankees for the
best record in the American League.
Boston, meanwhile, just dropped three of four at home to the
Twins over the weekend, avoiding the sweep with a 6-4 victory Sunday. The Sox
are now 11-12 since the All-Star break, and sit 4.5 games behind Detroit in the
battle for the second American League Wild-Card slot.
A couple of guys who have been struggling a bit lately hit
the hill Monday as Yu Darvish (11-7, 4.38)
starts for Texas against Aaron Cook (2-5, 5.24) for Boston.
Darvish is nine-for-20 on quality starts this season, but
only two for his last six. Most recently Darvish gave up seven runs on four
hits and six walks vs. the Angels last Wednesday, and over his four starts
since the All-Star break he's allowed 21 earned runs through 24 2/3 innings,
walking 17 batters in that span. So after that impressive start to his MLB
career Darvish is having problems, especially with his control.
This will be Darvish's first-ever start against the Red Sox.
On the other side of this arms battle, Cook is two-for-eight
on quality starts this year, and 0 for his last three. Last Wednesday vs.
Detroit he gave up six ER on nine hits in less than five innings, and in his
start before that he got nicked for six runs in four innings vs. the Yankees.
Which leaves us wondering how many more starts Boston will give him.
This will be Cook's first start this year against Texas.
Monday's Betting Odds
Texas is listed at most online baseball betting shops as a favorite of
around -130 for Monday's game, with Boston getting as much as +125 as a home
The Rangers are also listed at upwards of +125 on the run
line at several baseball betting shops.
And the 'over/under' on Monday's game sits at 10.
In early betting on Monday's game about 60 percent of play
on the side has come down on the Rangers, while almost 70 percent of action on
the total has come in on the 'over.'
MLB odds at Bovada are listing the Red Sox at -120 to win this series,
with the Rangers lined at -110.
Texas leads the season series with Boston four games to one.
The Papi Effect
Boston is 8-11 since Big Papi went on the DL with that
tweaked Achilles tendon, averaging about a full run less than when he's been in
the lineup this year.
Free MLB Pick
The Rangers bats have heated up lately, while Boston
pitching hasn't exactly been wonderful. The Red Sox, though, could get some
offense going if they can work Darvish, who's throwing a lot of balls. So we'll
go with add the 'OVER' 10 runs to our baseball picks for Monday's Texas-Boston game.
Take the OVER