Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox Pick 7/12/19
Los Angeles Dodgers (60-32) at Boston Red Sox (49-41)
When: 7 p.m., Friday, July 12
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Moneyline: LAD -105/BOS -105 (WagerWeb)
Runline: Dodgers -1.5/Red Sox +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Kenta Maeda (7-5, 3.76 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (9-4, 4.65 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Run In the Sox
This has to be the time when Boston makes its push for the AL East, or it’s not going to happen for them this season. The Red Sox have been treading water during their World Series hangover for the most part, but they finished the first half well with wins over Toronto and Detroit. With Boston’s next 21 games after this series against the AL East (and a bad Kansas City squad following up 14 straight games against the Yankees and Rays), it’s imperative that Boston gets its second half to a good start by building on the momentum that it closed out the first half with.
Most importantly, they have to continue the offensive explosion the past four games have produced. Boston has scored 33 runs in its last 36 innings, and while nobody is going to confuse the Tigers for an All-Star pitching staff, it’s still not easy to hit a baseball against any major league pitching staff. The Red Sox are hitting well at the moment, and they have to continue that moving forward. Boston leads the majors in runs scored at 509, and it has to pick up where it left off.
National League of Arms
While the Red Sox win with offense, the Dodgers win with defense. Los Angeles has been baseball’s best this season because of how good it’s been at preventing runs. The Dodgers’ ERA is more than a full run better than the Red Sox, as LA leads the National League with a 3.37 ERA. But as good as the pitching has been as of late, the Dodgers’ bats started the All-Star break early, scoring just 11 runs in a four-game series against the Padres that saw San Diego win three times in Los Angeles, despite scoring a mere 12 runs itself. When your pitching does that in a four-game home set, and you come away with only one win, that’s a sign that the hitters are not getting the job done.
For all of their dominance of the National League over the past 2½ years, the Dodgers haven’t really figured out how to play American League baseball. Truth be told, they’ve headed in the wrong direction against the AL since their first pennant of this run, as LA went 16-4 against the AL before losing a seven-game classic to the Astros. But last year, the record was down to 12-8 before a five-game loss to Boston, and the Dodgers are just 1-3 against the Junior Circuit this time around. Los Angeles has had no problems with the National League since losing the 2016 NLCS to Chicago, but the Dodgers are going to have to figure out the AL if they’re going to bring that elusive title back to Los Angeles finally.
Does it even need to be said at this point? These are the two teams that competed for the World Series a year ago, with the Red Sox rolling through their opponents and claiming a 4-1 series victory over the Dodgers to win the World Series for the fourth time in the past 15 years. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have been the National League’s best for the past two seasons, but are still pursuing their first World Series since 1988.
- The Dodgers are 1-5 in their past six interleague games.
- The Red Sox have won six of their past seven series openers.
- The Red Sox have won Rodriguez’s past five Friday starts.
- The under has won the past four Dodgers games.
- The over is 7-0 in Rodriguez’s past seven series openers.
- The under is 4-1 in the Red Sox’s past five interleague games against a team with a winning record.
Storms could play a factor in Friday’s contest, as the temperature is projected at 83 degrees with lightning in the area in Boston.
Of all the surprising things that have happened with the Red Sox this year, perhaps the most remarkable is Boston’s mediocre home record. The Red Sox have managed to stoke themselves to a 49-41 mark despite being two games under .500 (20-22) at Fenway. The fact that Boston has managed to play so well away from home suggests that the Red Sox are better than their mark at Fenway shows and that they’re going to get things figured out in the second half.
The time to start is now, and Boston comes in hot and rested after closing out its first half with five wins in six road contests. The Dodgers, meanwhile, haven’t yet shown that they can handle the best the American League has to offer, and while the Red Sox might not be that this year, they’re still a strong team and a mental block for Los Angeles. Plus, Boston is the more desperate team, as it starts the second half nine back of the Yankees. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have little to worry about, as they hold a 13.5 game lead over second-place Arizona and will almost surely be the NL West champion. With the Sox virtually even money at home, now’s a good time to take them.
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