Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians Pick 8/12/19
Boston Red Sox (62-58) vs. Cleveland Indians (71-47), 8/12/19
Time: 7:10 pm ET Monday, Aug. 12
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Listed Pitchers: Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 4.17 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) vs. Zach Plesac (6-3, 3.13, 1.15)
TV: ESPN, NESN, SportsTime Ohio
Moneyline: Red Sox -115/Indians +105 (BetAnySports)
Two teams headed in very different directions as of late meet when the Indians host the Red Sox for three games starting Monday night. Cleveland just pulled into a tie for first place in the AL Central, while Boston is in danger of fading out of the playoff picture. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Monday’s MLB betting odds opened Cleveland and Plesac at around -110 over Boston and Rodriguez, with an over/under of 10 runs. Early betting action then flipped the Red Sox into -115 favorites.
Red Sox vs. Indians Set-Up
Boston just split four games at home with the Angels over the weekend, blowing a late lead to lose Sunday’s series finale 5-4 in 10 innings. Just before that, the Red Sox split two games with Kansas City, and in the series, before that, they got swept four games by the Yankees. Going back a bit further Boston is 0-2-2 over its last four series and 3-11 over its last 14 games.
At 62-58 overall the Red Sox now trail the first-place Yanks by a distant 16 games in the AL East, and they’re now 7.5 games off the pace in the race for the second American League wild-card spot.
In other words, it’s desperation time for this Boston outfit.
Cleveland, meanwhile, just took three of four games at Minnesota over the weekend, winning Sunday’s series finale 7-3 on Carlos Santana’s grand slam in the 10th inning. Just before that, the Indians took two of three from Texas, and just before that they swept three games from the Angels. So the Tribe is 3-0 over its last three series and 8-2 over its last ten games.
Cleveland at 71-47, is now tied with the Twins for the lead in both the AL Central and in the AL wild-card race.
This series is the second meeting between these teams this season; back in May, the Tribe took two of three games from the Sox at Fenway.
Monday’s Starting Arms
Rookie righty Plesac, by our strict standards, is 7/13 on quality starts this season and three for his last four. Last Wednesday he held the Rangers scoreless on five hits through six innings of a 2-0 Cleveland victory. And over his last five outings, he’s allowed seven runs – six earned – and 21 hits through 27 innings.
The Indians are 10-3 with Plesac this season and 6-0 over his last six starts.
In his only career start against Boston, in that series back in May, Plesac allowed just one run and four this through 5 1/3 frames of a 7-5 Cleveland win.
Lefty Rodriguez is 9/23 on quality starts this year but 0 for his last three. Last Wednesday he limited the Royals to two runs and seven hits through five innings of that game that got suspended at 4-4 in extra innings. But over his last three starts, he’s allowed nine runs on 19 hits and 12 walks through 17 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox are 17-6 with Rodriguez this year and 5-1 over his last six starts.
This start will be Rodriguez’s first against the Indians since 2017, and that’s already kind of a long time ago.
Monday’s Batting Splits
Boston is batting .279/.351/.476 against right-handed pitching this season, which is why this unit ranks as the No. 1 lineup in MLB in this split.
Cleveland is batting .250/.323/.414 against left-handed pitching this season.
The Red Sox bullpen owns a 4.44 ERA this season and a 1.38 WHIP while allowing a .745 OPS.
The Indians pen owns an ML-best 3.21 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP while holding foes to a .696 OPS. Numbers like those help this unit rank among the top handful of bullpens in baseball.
- Overs are a lopsided 71-46 in Red Sox games this season.
- Unders are 65-49 in Indians games this season.
- Unders are 37-25 in games played at Progressive Field this season.
- Overs are 3-0 in Red Sox-Indians games this season.
- Overs are 17-6 with Rodriguez this season.
Free MLB Pick
We’re calling our main baseball handicapping factors for this game a push. However, momentum means a ton, and Cleveland is hot, while Boston is not. So we’re going with the Indians for our free MLB pick for Monday.