Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland A’s Preview and Pick

Boston Red Sox (2-4) Jon Lester -145, 8 O/U at Oakland Athletics
(2-4) Dallas Braden +130, 8 O/U, Oakland- Alameda County
Coliseum, Oakland, Calif., 10:05 PM EST, Monday

by Badger of

A pair of lefties will battle Monday night when the Boston Red Sox send Jon Lester out to the hill to face the Oakland As and Dallas
Braden in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Both pitchers will be looking to try and move their team one step
closer to .500 on the young season, as both teams have struggled out
the gate with 2-4 records.

Boston dropped two out of three over the weekend to the Los Angeles
Angels when they lost Sundays game, 5-4. Boston was involved in a
very emotional series with the Angels, who are still recovering from
the loss of pitcher Nick Adenhart to a tragic and fatal car crash.
Those emotions boiled over briefly on Sunday when Boston pitcher Josh
Beckett threw a head-high pitch to Bobby Abreu after Abreu had called
for time. Both benches cleared, but there was no further brew-ha-ha
and the Angels held off a late ninth-inning rally by the Sox.

Oakland was embarrassed over the weekend as they were swept by the
Seattle Mariners, losing Sundays series finale by a 1-0 score. As
starting pitcher Trevor Cahill pitched seven beautiful innings Sunday
giving up just the one run on two hits, but he was outdueled by
Seattles Erik Bedard who went eight-and-a-third of scoreless, three-
hit ball in the win.

Oddsmakers opened the game with the Red Sox and Lester as heavy -140 favorites on the moneyline, and the number has gone up a little to
-145 or even -150 at most of the offshore sportsbooks. Oakland and
Braden are listed as +130 to +135 underdogs on the moneyline.

The over/under total opened at 8 runs and has held firm, although is the lone exception as they are listing the total at 8.5.

Both teams have struggled to get victories this season in part because both have gotten off to slow starts at the plate.

Boston is only scoring 3.6 runs per game (currently ranked 27th in
MLB) and hitting just a meager .238 as a team (21st). Last years MVP
Dustin Pedroia and Big Pappi David Ortiz are two of the Red Sox
biggest threats that are off to slow starts, as Pedroia is hitting
just .167 so far and Ortiz is hitting just .200 with only two RBIs.

Oakland is also off to a slow start at the dish. Their team batting
average of .254 is middle of the MLB pack (16th), but they havent
been able to score runs as their 3.5 runs per game average (28th) is
below the Red Sox. It early and only six games into the season, but
the As have only one homerun and one stolen base so far, so they
arent manufacturing runs either.

Both pitchers are coming off of bad outings to start the season.
Lester gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks in five innings
pitched in Bostons 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay last Wednesday. Braden
lasted six innings, but gave up nine hits and three runs in the As
3-0 loss to the Angels on Monday.

Lester has had mixed success versus the As in his young career, as
he is 2-2 in four starts. He threw a gem versus the As last April
2nd, going 6.2 innings allowing just three hits and zero runs. He
also lost to them a month later, and is 1-1 in his two starts in
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Braden has had only one previous start versus the Sox, and it didnt
go well. He lasted only 3.1 innings and was tagged with six hits and
four earned runs in the 5-2 loss at Fenway.

Boston as a team has not enjoyed the West Coast much in the past,
specifically Oakland, as they are just 4-11 in their last 15 games in
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Runs have been hard to come by, as the
teams have come in under the total in seven of the last 10 games in

Badgers Pick: I think Boston will win the game, but at -145 I think its too much juice to wager on the Sox, especially if Lester and the
Sox offense continue their funk. Oaklands offense is suspect too, so
the best bet in this game might be the under of 8.