Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics Pick 7/3/21
Boston Red Sox (52-31) vs. Oakland Athletics (48-36)
When: 7:15 p.m., Saturday, July 3
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
Moneyline: BOS +120/OAK -130 (Get Dimelines >>>)
Runline: Red Sox +1.5/Athletics 1.5
Starting Pitchers: Garrett Richards (4-5, 4.96 ERA, 1.69 WHIP) vs. Cole Irvin (6-7, 3.64 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
Whatever the Red Sox are doing as of late is working because Boston comes into this game on an eight-game winning streak, including a victory over the Athletics on Friday night. The Red Sox did get the luxury of playing most of those games at home, but they managed to grind out a win in their series opener against the Athletics, keeping alive an interesting trend with the totals. In their past seven games, the total has gone back and forth between over and under, never hitting the same thing on consecutive days over a week. This matchup went under in the series opener, which suggests that an over is coming, even though it’s a relatively lower total for these teams in 2021. Both teams have gone under more than over this season by a slim margin, and the books have adjusted to that, making this number less attractive to the general public.
Lighting It Up
When Garrett Richards is on the mound, there’s a good indication that runs will be scored. Richards has pitched to either the over or a push in eight of his past ten starts, including four of his past five. Interestingly, Richards’ issues on the mound actually haven’t hurt his team in the slightest, as Boston has won four of Richards’ past five starts despite none of them being a quality start. Richards has averaged four runs given up in his past five starts and surrendered 11 hits on two occasions, but somehow, Boston put both of those games in the win column. That speaks to what the Red Sox have done this season as a team: they just keep finding ways to win. Boston’s hitters seem to know that when Richards is on the mound, they’ve got to push harder at the plate to make up for his shortcomings so that they end up with a win when all is said and done. It might not be pretty if you’re a fan of pitching and defense, but it wins games, and the Red Sox have been doing a great job at putting wins on the positive side of the ledger in 2021.
Strikeout OutlierWith Cole Irvin on the mound for the Athletics, it might be a good idea to take advantage of what he did in his most recent start and bet that he won’t replicate it in terms of strikeouts. Irvin has never been a strikeout pitcher and hasn’t ever come close to being a strikeout pitcher in 2021, striking out just 68 hitters in 94 innings worth of work. His most recent outing against the Giants saw him strike out eight hitters, more than he had in his previous two starts combined. With the public likely to throw a few dollars on a more reasonable strikeout target, this is a good time to go against him if the books give you the option. If you can get Irvin for under 5.5 strikeouts, it’s worth a try, given that he’s only exceeded five once in his past ten trips to the mound.
- The Red Sox are 7-1 in their past eight Saturday games.
- The Red Sox are 6-2 in their past eight games as a road underdog.
- The Athletics are 7-3 in their last ten home games.
- The Athletics are 2-5 in their past seven games overall.
- The under is 6-1 in the Red Sox’s last seven Saturday games.
- The over is 7-1 in the Athletics’ past eight games as a home favorite.
- The Red Sox are 5-2 in the teams’ past seven meetings overall.
- The under is 3-0-1 in the past four meetings between the teams.
Weather ReportThe wind could be very helpful to the hitters, with winds set to blow at 12 miles per hour to left-center on a rather mild day. Temperatures will be pushing 65 degrees on a partly cloudy day on the Bay.
There are two directions that make sense for this matchup: the over and the Red Sox. This feels like a higher-scoring game, which would fit the pattern Boston has established over the past week and change. Beyond that, Boston just keeps finding ways to get things done, and the Red Sox certainly don’t mind either grinding out a win nor putting on a fancy display. I’ll take the Red Sox and the over in this one.