Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox Pick 4/29/19
Oakland Athletics (14-16, 14-16 RL) at Boston Red Sox (11-17 SU, 8-20 RL)
Date: Monday, April 29, 2019
Time: 7 pm ET
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Listed Pitchers: Oakland: Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.10 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) vs. Boston: Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 7.98 ERA, 1.70 WHIP)
Moneyline: Athletics +122 / Red Sox -132 (5Dimes)
The Red Sox still haven’t gotten things figured out, dropping a quick two-game set to Tampa Bay at home to fall 7.5 games back of the first-place Rays. Boston is off to its worst start since 1996 and appears to be suffering the effects of a World Series hangover from last year. The Athletics, on the other hand, are suffering the effects of playing the Toronto Blue Jays. Oakland went to Canada and got swept, making them 0-6 against the Blue Jays for the year. With Toronto behind them for the season, can they bounce back in Boston, or will the Red Sox regain the form they showed a year ago?
MLB Betting Odds
The line has not moved much, starting at -145 for the Red Sox and eventually settling at the -138 spot that it’s in at press time. The Red Sox have been favored in each of their past six games and have gone just 2-4 in that stretch. The over/under has been consistent at 9 since the lines opened.
Athletics vs. Red Sox Set-Up
Every time it appears that Boston tries to take a step forward, the Red Sox have ended up taking a step or two backward shortly after. Last week, they went to Tampa, played three fine games and ended up taking a sweep of the AL East leaders. What happened when they came back to Fenway? The Red Sox squandered their work by going just 2-4, losing twice to Detroit and twice to the same Tampa Bay squad they had beaten three straight in St. Petersburg. Oakland’s struggles are defined by its inability to beat three clubs: Houston, Seattle, and Toronto. Against the Astros, Mariners and Blue Jays, the Athletics are a combined 1-12 this season. Against anyone else, they’re a much more robust 13-4. That includes three wins out of four against Boston when the Red Sox came to Oakland in the first full week of the season.
Monday’s Starting Arms
Frankie Montas isn’t going to go deep into games, but in the six innings you’ll get from him, he’s likely to be effective. In five appearances, he’s yet to give up more than three runs in a contest and has held opponents to just three hits on three occasions. His only rough outing was his last start against Texas, and that gets a bit of a pass because his teammates handed him an 8-2 lead after four innings, allowing him to take a few extra chances that he otherwise would not have. He’s equally comfortable getting hitters to ground out or fly out, an important quality to have at Fenway. Rodriguez started the year horribly by getting bombed by Seattle and Oakland, but he’s recovered to pitch effectively against teams on Eastern Time, beating Baltimore and Detroit and getting a no-decision in a win over Tampa Bay. In his past three starts, he’s allowed six runs, a far cry from the 11 he gave up in Oakland and Seattle.
Friday’s Batting Splits
With Oakland hitting just .242 and Boston even worse at .232, it’s easy to see why these teams have had issues with getting runs across. The Red Sox managed only three runs in two games against Tampa Bay (and Fenway isn’t exactly a park that favors pitchers), while the Athletics scored seven runs for the entire series in Toronto, a number the Blue Jays matched in their second game alone. Offense is always possible at Fenway, but these teams aren’t hitting in a way that suggests it will occur.
In recent outings, the Boston bullpen has shown signs of improvement, dropping its ERA to 4.61 and posting a 7-3 record overall. Oakland has a better ERA but has had a real problem holding onto its leads when it gets them. For the year, the Athletics are 2-7 when they’ve handed the bullpen a lead and asked it to do its job.
- The over is 6-1 when the Athletics face a team that allowed five runs or more in its previous game.
- The over is 8-2 in the Athletics’ past 10 Monday games.
- The over is 6-1 in Rodriguez’s past seven starts.
- The under is 6-1 in the Red Sox’s past seven games after allowing five runs or more in the previous game.
Free MLB Pick
The Red Sox continue to be an enigma, which is why they’re favored at home but not getting an exorbitant price against a team that got swept by Toronto. But I actually like Oakland here. Montas has become a reliable arm for the Athletics, and I think he can put up another good outing against the Red Sox and get his team back on track. I’m taking Oakland to end its losing streak and get its fourth win of the year against Boston.
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