A return home after a long road trip will give Boston the boost they need Tuesday against a Colorado Rockies club that is definitely road weary.
The Red Sox are back at Fenway after losing three of four against a strong Detroit Tigers ballclub. That’s good news for the Red Sox Nation because Boston owns a gaudy 2013 record of 23-15 (.605 winning percentage) in their own ballpark.
Ryan Dempster will get the start for Boston. He’s been solid as of late (3.48 ERA in his past five starts) and should benefit from a Rockies lineup that’s far more potent at home than on the road (.256 away average versus .286 at home; .414 slugging percentage away versus .414 at home).
In fact, Boston is getting the Rockies at just the right time. This stop will be the end of a grueling nine-game Eastern road swing, in which Colorado has gone 2-5 to date. Overall, the Rockies have not been a good road team – they’re 16-21 (.432 winning percentage) away from Coors Field. Look for a big home field advantage and go with Boston at 1.61.
Two Japanese aces will lead to a hitters’ nightmare when the New York Yankees host the Texas Rangers. Both New York’s Hiroki Kuroda and Texas’ Yu Darvish have been sharp this year – and both happen to be pitching in environs where they work best. Kuroda is 5-2 with a 2.08 ERA at home (better than his 2-3 and 3.38 ERA on the road) and Darvish is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA on the road (a slight uptick from his 4-2 record and 3.05 ERA at home).
Despite each team’s high-flying reputations as hitters’ clubs, neither lineup ranks in the top half in terms of runs scored per game in the American League. Moreover, Kuroda has a great track record against the Rangers. Combined they have a paltry .197 batting average against him.
As for Darvish, very few hitters in the Yankees lineup have seen him before (only Ichiro Suzuki has more than ten plate appearances against Darvish and just three other players have faced him previously). Darvish is a top pitcher and batters facing him for the first time will likely be at a disadvantage.
Best bet: Under 7.5 runs at 1.85