MLB Baseball Betting: Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox

MLB Baseball Betting:  Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Blue Jays took the win on Wednesday but are off on Thursday. We’ll use this opportunity to take a look at one of their AL East rivals. The top half of the division is starting to tighten up as the Baltimore Orioles lead the Boston Red Sox by 1.5 games. The Blue Jays are 2.5 games out of first and one game behind the Red Sox. Boston will host the Chicago White Sox on Thursday and they’ll be looking to get back on the winning track. They’ve been treading water around the .500 mark lately (all records pending the outcome of Wednesday’s action) but remain eight games above the ‘Mendoza Line’ for the season. June hasn’t been a good month for either of these teams as they’re both 7-11 for the month.

Chicago will start James Shields, a quality pitcher that has really been struggling this season. The White Sox have lost 11 of his 14 starts including 5 of 6 on the road. Shields’ numbers have been brutal–he’s got a 6.28 ERA and a 1.697 WHIP overall and a 7.18 ERA and 1.627 WHIP on the road. His last three starts have been horrific–the White Sox went 1-2 in those games but Shields put up a 21.80 ERA and 3.806 WHIP averaging just 3 innings of work per game.

The Red Sox will counter with righthander Rick Porcello and they’ve won 9 of his 14 starts this season including a perfect 6-0 at Fenway Park. Porcello’s numbers aren’t phenomenal but they’re good enough: 3.76 ERA and 1.094 WHIP overall with a 3.03 ERA and 0.983 WHIP at home. The Red Sox have won 2 of his last three starts and he’s put up a 2.84 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP.

One mistake that you have to avoid when handicapping baseball is not to get too fixated on the pitching matchup. It’s the component of the game that has the most impact on the betting line but there’s plenty of other considerations that ultimately determines who wins or loses. Porcello isn’t an overpowering pitcher and that makes me very hesitant to lay the price. Likewise, Shields has been in poor form lately but the salient consideration is that these two teams have almost identical records for the month of June. With two teams in comparable form it’s a no brainer to take the price.


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