Billy J’s Wednesday MLB Preview – Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (+1.51 units), gives his best bet for today!

In today’s series finale the Red Sox will look to complete the sweep against a struggling Tigers team. The Red Sox won the first two games of the series and have won 7 of their last 9 games overall. When this line first opened, I grabbed it at -140. Since the opening line, I’ve seen this line get as high as -160. It’s not often I play a line like this as a single game play, but sometimes you just have to play smart and play these lines only when you feel like you have the best advantage.

A commonality that some bettors have in the market is playing the run line to get plus odds. At this time the run line for the Red Sox is at +140. Do I like the Red Sox bats enough to play this? Easily. However, just look at yesterday’s Red Sox victory against the Tigers. Several bettors were looking to cash in with the run line when it was 5-3 going into the ninth inning. Three pitches later when Jonathan Schoop homered, those tickets had slim hope of cashing in. I’m also not playing the run line as well as the Tigers starter tonight in Tarik Skubal (5-4, 3.13 ERA) is having a solid season for quite the lackluster team and can grind out a quality start each time out. Skubal, however, has struggled a bit in his last two starts where he got the loss in each and had given up a season-high 8 hits in his last start against the Rangers.

Opposing Skubal on the mound tonight is Red Sox starter Michael Wacha (5-1, 2.28 ERA). One could say with the recent injuries in the Red Sox starting staff that Wacha has quickly shifted into the team’s ace. In Wacha’s last 4 starts he has given up a total of 4 earned runs in his last 24.1 innings pitched. When Wacha pitches as well, the Red Sox usually come out victorious. The team is 8-2 in Wacha’s last 10 starts. Factor in as well that the Red Sox are third in the majors with a .258 team average and facing Skubal at the right time in which he has yielded 15 hits total in his last two starts, I expect the Red Sox bats to keep the pressure on Skubal.

The Tigers are also 7-19 in their last 26 road games, which is also a big concern. Their season average on the road is a dismal .212 and having to face Wacha here at the tail end of the series does not make things any easier. And as a final note, the Tigers are 1-6 in their last seven games when facing a right-handed starter. Makes sense considering their team average during the year is .214 against right-handed pitching, which is right along their road team average. I could easily play the run line here, but let’s not get too fancy and play this to win one unit and play as high as -170.

The Pick: Red Sox -155 on BetRivers

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