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Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox
The division leaders continue a three-game series as Boston meets Oakland. Playing time for the Red Sox vs. Athletics is at 7:10 pm ET at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. This is the second of six meetings this season. Oakland broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the seventh inning and won Game 1 of the series 3-2 last night. Strong pitching led both teams as there were 19 combined strikeouts and just 11 total hits. This is the first series between these teams since the Red Sox won four of six games in 2019. The Athletics’ victory last night was their first in Boston since the 2018 season.
Oakland (22-15) stumbled out of the starting gate as they opened the season with a 1-7 record. The Athletics were outscored 59-19 in the first eight games. Kicking off their offense, Oakland had a 13-game winning streak and outscored their opponents by a margin of 81–36. Pitching was strong too, as Oakland had four shutouts and allowed three or fewer runs in nine wins. The Athletics lead Houston by 2.5 games in the AL West, but have leveled at 8–8 in the last 16 games. Oakland is averaging 4.13 runs per game on offense and allowing 4.37 runs on defense.
Boston (22-15) ranks first in the overall standings of the American League East Division. The Red Sox have a 2.0 game lead over the Yankees and a 2.5 game lead over the Blue Jays. Boston returned home after a 3-1 series win at Baltimore. The Red Sox edged the Orioles 21-11 during all three wins. Baltimore avoided a sweep with a 4-1 victory in the series finale on Monday. Boston is 12-5 on the road in the MLB, but is only 10-10 at home this season. The Red Sox lead the league in runs scored (190), batting average (.261) and slugging percentage (.434). They average 5.13 runs and allow 4.27 runs per game.
Experience against youth is a key component of tonight’s pitching matchup. LZ Eduardo Rodríguez (5-0, 3.82 ERA) is making his seventh start for Boston. He allowed one run and seven hits, in five innings, during the Red Sox’s 6-2 win at Baltimore on May 7. Making the first start of his MLB career, RHP James Kaprielian gets the call from Oakland. He allowed three runs and four hits, in 3.2 innings, during two relief appearances late last season. Boston is 3-1 after losing two straight games this year. With a pitching advantage, plus the best overall offense, lay down the runs and bet on Boston to cover.
Pick: Boston Red Sox -1.5 (+126) race line
Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers
The struggling squads meet when Detroit hosts Kansas City for the second of a three-game series. The first pitch for the Royals vs. Tigers is at 7:10 pm ET at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. This is the sixth of 19 meetings this year, and Kansas City has a 4-1 lead in the season series. When playing above expectations, the Royals outscored the Tigers 15-5 during a four-game sweep in Detroit. The Tigers were up 7-0 before scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7 last night. Since the 2020 season, Kansas City is 7-4 in 11 games played in Detroit.
Kansas City (16-18) entered the season with a total of 73.5 wins on the MLB futures board at DraftKings. Fresh out of the starting gate, the Royals were 16-9 on May 1 and held a 1.5-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central standings. Coming back to earth, Kansas City has lost nine straight games and was outscored by a 66-28 margin. Fighting offense, the Royals have been shut out twice in their last five games. Kansas City is in Detroit after being swept 4-0 by Cleveland and 3-0 by Chicago during two series at home. The Royals were outscored 45-17 during those seven losses.
Detroit (11-24) also started the year with low expectations, having a total of 68.5 wins. The Tigers were competitive from the start when they opened the season with a 3-2 record. Since then, not much has gone well for Detroit entering this series on an 8-22 losing streak. Offense and pitching have been problems during the streak. The Tigers were eliminated five times and beat 105–39 during 18 losses. Detroit faced a tough schedule recently as it lost series to the White Sox (2-1), the Yankees (3-0) and the Red Sox (2-1). Detroit split two games with Minnesota at home (both final 7-3) prior to this series.
Both starting pitchers are making their seventh start of the season. RHP Casey Mize (1-3, 4.41 ERA) gets the call for Detroit, and LZ Danny Duffy (4-2, 1.26 ERA) heads up the hill for Kansas City. Mize allowed six runs and seven hits, in 4.2 innings, during the Tigers’ 6-2 loss at home to the Royals on April 23. During five scoreless innings, Duffy allowed four hits and eight strikeouts during the Royals’ 4-0 win at Detroit. On April 25. Kansas City has a pitching advantage tonight, and that will help break its long losing streak. Bet the money line and endorse the Royals as favorites on the road.
Choose: Kansas City Royals (-134) money line
2021 MLB regular season betting record: 22-26 (-4.04 points)
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.