Texas Rangers (61-58) +150, 11 at Boston Red Sox (68-51), 7 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
The American League’s wild-card leader hosts a team trying to inch its way into the race when the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers commence a three-game series Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Baseball bookmakers are listing Boston and rookie starting pitcher Charlie Zink, who will be making his ML debut, as 160 home favorites for Tuesday’s game, with a total of 11, while Texas and Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.67, 1.38 WHIP) are getting +150 as road underdogs.
Texas beat Baltimore Sunday 15-7 to break a four-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Red Sox just split four games in Chicago with the White Sox.
So going into this series, the Rangers trail the first-place Los Angeles Angels by 14 games in the AL West, while Boston is in second place in the AL East, four games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.
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The Red Sox, though, lead the AL wild-card race by two games over the White Sox, and by seven games over Texas.
Texas is 30-32 on the road this year, 42-49 as underdogs, and 64-55 vs. the run line.
Boston is 40-16 at home this season, 58-32 as favorites, and 59-60 vs. the run line.
The Red Sox swept four games in Boston from the Rangers back in April in the only other encounter between these two teams thus far this season. And three of the games went over their totals, as the games averaged 11.0 total runs per.
Last year, the Sox took the season series from Texas six games to four, with the totals going 3-6-1, as the games averaged 8.2 total runs per.
Over his last three starts, including a good outing vs. the Yankees last Thursday, Feldman has allowed 10 ER and 26 baserunners (hits + walks) in 18 1/3 IP. Texas is 6-12 in Feldman’s starts this year, the totals 4-14.
Feldman has never started a game vs. the Red Sox.
Zink, a knuckleballer who’s taking knuckleballer Tim Wakefield’s place in the starting rotation with the veteran on the DL, posted some nice numbers at AAA Pawtucket this year, as in a 2.89 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 94/43 K/BB ratio in 152 IP.
Offensively, Texas leads the majors this season in team BA at .281, ranks 3rd in team OBP at .352, 1st in team slugging at .458, and leads the majors in scoring at 5.6 runs per game.
Boston ranks 3rd in batting at .278, 2nd in OBP at .354, 7th in slugging at .439, and is averaging 5.0 RPG.
Over the last five games, the Texas bullpen has allowed nine ER and 35 BR in 19 2/3 IP.
Over its’ last five games, the Boston pen has given up three ER and nine BR in 11 IP.
On the personnel front, Texas DH Milton Bradley got sick over the weekend, and is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game. And closer CJ Wilson is now out for the year after opting for elbow surgery.
The totals are 64-49 in Rangers games this year, 53-58 in Sox games, and 26-28 in games played at Fenway Park, which are averaging 9.45 total runs this season.
Zman’s Pick: Im on the BoSox at -160. Bet this game at reduced odds at 5Dimes.
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