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Red Sox at Twins Pick 6/20/18

by | Jun 20, 2018 | mlb

Boston dropped the opener of a series at Minnesota Tuesday night but looks to bounce back with an ace Wednesday evening (8:10 ET). Do we bet the Sox on the zig-zag theory? Or are the Twins a live dog here?

The MLB Betting Line

Wednesday’s MLB betting odds opened Boston and David Price at around -140 over Minnesota and Lance Lynn, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. The early betting action then bumped that total up to 9.

The Sox could also be found at around +110 giving the run and a half on the MLB betting run line.

Wednesday Set-Up

Minnesota grabbed the opener of this three-game series Tuesday night 6-2, cashing in as +175 home dogs on the MLB betting odds against Chris Sale. Boston tied that game at 2-2 with a run in the top of the eighth inning, but the Twins touched the Boston bullpen for four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Minnesota closer Fernando Rodney then tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out the side.

Also, thanks to that late Minnesota outburst that game played a total of 7 runs.

So the Red Sox are 1-3 over their last four games, following a four-game winning streak. At 49-24 overall Boston now trails the first-place Yankees by one game in the AL East, but also owns the top American League wild-card spot.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is 3-1 over its last four games, beating Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco as dogs of +190 and +165 along the way. At 32-37 the Twins trail division-leading Cleveland by 5.5 games in the AL Central, and they sit 12 games back in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.

This series is the first encounter between these two teams this season. Last year Boston took five of seven games from Minnesota, with the unders going 4-3, even though the games averaged better than ten total runs per. Price started one of those games, a 6-3 Sox victory in June at Fenway.

Wednesday’s Hurlers

Lynn (4-5, 4.98), by our strict standards, is 6/13 on quality starts this season and working on a run of five in a row. Last Thursday he gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings against Detroit, with nine strikeouts, and over his previous five starts, he’s allowed just seven runs through 31 1/3 innings. The Twins are 5-8 with Lynn this year, with the overs going 8-5.

Lynn started twice last year for St. Louis against Boston, allowing six runs, although only three were earned, through 12 innings of work. The Cardinals lost both those games.

Lefty Price (8-4, 3.76) is 7/14 on quality starts this year, working on a run of three straight. Last Thursday he held a hot Seattle outfit to one run through seven innings, and over his previous three starts, he’s allowed six runs through 19 innings. The Red Sox are 10-4 with Price this season, with the unders going 8-6.

In his most recent start against Minnesota, that 6-3 victory last June, Price gave up three runs through seven innings, with seven whiffs and zero walks.

After a rough start to this season, Lynn has been much better lately for his new team. But we’re still giving the handicapping check-mark in this pitching match-up to Price.

Wednesday’s Batting Splits

Boston ranks No. 1 in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .268 team batting average, No. 2 with a .336 team OBP and No. 1 with a .464 team slugging percentage.

The Twins rank 18th against left-handed pitching with a .237 BA, 19th with a .311 OBP and 27th with a .362 slugging percentage.

So the Red Sox own a pretty definite and firm advantage with the sticks for Wednesday.

The Bullpens

The Boston bullpen ranks 6th in the ML with a 3.17 ERA and 7th with a 1.21 WHIP, all while going 25/31 on save opportunities.

The Minnesota pen ranks 18th in ERA at 4.04 and 16th in WHIP at 1.32 while going 15/29 on save opps.

So despite Tuesday’s mini-debacle, we’re still giving the Sox the check-mark in the bullpen comparison.

Free MLB Pick

Boston is 41-16 this year against RH starters, easily the best mark in baseball. Meanwhile, Minnesota is 8-11 against LH starters. Also, the Sox get all three of our major handicapping check-marks. Also, we like chasing better prices by betting road favorites against the run line, because we know they’ll bat nine times. So we’re giving the run and a half here with the Red Sox.