MLB Picks and Parlays: Boston and Cleveland Meet-Up in Potential Playoff Preview
Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox have been the two best teams in the AL since the All-Star break, and they’re also two of the hottest teams in baseball entering this week’s series. Given their recent pedigree as well as having played in two of the last four World Series, this should make for a great late-August series.
Boston come in having taken two of three from the Yankees for the second weekend in a row. They are 14-3 since they hosted Cleveland in a late-July series. On Sunday they beat New York 5-1 and the offensive hero was Jackie Bradley Jr. He hit a two-RBI triple in the second to open the scoring and added another RBI single in the sixth to return the lead to two runs after the Yankees had halved the deficit in the fifth.
Rick Porcello is finding his Cy Young form of late, as he won for the fourth straight time, the last three of which have been quality starts of six innings or more and three earned runs or less allowed.
Cleveland is 11-6 ever since they dropped those two games to the Red Sox and they’ve had a pretty tough schedule as well with series against the Yankees, Rockies, Rays, a make-up game against Boston, the Twins and Royals. Their lead in the AL Central is up to five games on the Twins and 6.5 on Kansas City after taking two of three from both of them in the past week.
They lost on Sunday however, dropping the finale of their series to the Royals, 7-4. Kansas City’s backups and bottom of the lineup came through with most of the offense after they scored just two runs in the first two games of the series. Jorge Bonifacio had three hits, while Alcides Escobar and Cheslor Cuthbert each had three RBIs.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 3.97 ERA) has been one Red Sox pitcher who’s struggled somewhat. He’s still looking for his first win since a six-week stint on the disabled list ended on July 17th. The Red Sox are 3-3 in those starts and he has a 4.78 ERA. He gave up four runs in 5.1 innings of a 5-4 win over the Cardinals last time out. It broke a two-start stint where he allowed two runs in 12 innings to the Yankees and White Sox.
Mike Clevinger (6-5, 3.75 ERA) has been coming out of the bullpen more of late after hitting somewhat of a wall in his first full big-league season. Three of his last four appearances have been in relief after starting 14 games. But his last start was a strong one, shutting out Tampa Bay over seven innings on August 12th. He’s got a 5.63 ERA post All-Star break and it was 3.00 prior to that. In his first start this year against Boston he gave up five runs in three innings.
- Boston is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games
Boston is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games
Boston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Cleveland is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Cleveland’s last 13 games
Cash It In: Cleveland are -130 favorites, Boston +110 underdogs. Boston has already hit Clevinger hard once this year, and are the hottest team in the AL. I like their chances against this starter. Red Sox 6-3.