MLB Betting: The Boston Red Sox can turn their form around in Tampa


Home run (Safest bet)

Take the San Francisco Giants (1.60) in their home contest versus the Minnesota Twins.

Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong will benefit greatly from pitching at AT&T Park in this Saturday contest. The right-hander appeared to be on the verge of oblivion at the start of the season. After a miserable 2013 campaign, Vogelsong was sporting a 7.71 ERA through his first four starts. But since then, he’s truly regained form. In his past five outings, he’s only given up more than one run in a game once. What’s particularly notable for this clash is he’s really been in a groove at home. In five home games, he owns a 2.61 ERA (as opposed to a 5.30 ERA elsewhere).

The Twins’ Ricky Nolasco was a big off-season acquisition, but he hasn’t pitched like one. In nine starts, he’s 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA. Facing San Francisco’s lineup probably won’t change that poor run. In 198 career plate appearances, Giants’ batters possess a strong .317 batting average, .364 on base percentage and .528 slugging percentage against Nolasco.

 

Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)

The Boston Red Sox, on at 2.25 on the road, will gain a win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Boston is the defending World Series Champions, but have certainly not being playing like winners lately. Coming into this weekend they were 2-8 in their last ten games. The Rays have only been a bit better at 4-6. In addition, both starting pitchers have been shaky this season. The Red Sox’s Jake Peavy is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA and the Rays’ David Price is 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA.

So what’s the separator here? Well the Red Sox, despite their overall woes, have been surprisingly solid on the road (10-9), while the Rays have really floundered at home (9-14). In addition, Jake Peavy has a solid track record at Tropicana Field (2-0 with a 3.93 ERA) and, lifetime against Rays’ hitters, he’s held them to a .218 batting average in 154 plate appearances. The left-hander Price has also been good against Boston batters (.236 in 229 PAs), but Boston has really stepped up its game against lefty starters this year. They own a .264 batting average, .361 on base percentage and .481 slugging percentage against lefty starters; against righties those numbers drop to .235/.311/.358.