An incredibly important series for MLB betting fans begins on Thursday night at Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians take on the Boston Red Sox.
Boston knows that it is in a heck of a lot of trouble. Manager Bobby Valentine just came out and said that this team is a playoff team in the media. Normally speaking, that’s not such a bad thing to do. But, when your team is below .500 and fading fast in the chase in the American League playoff race, you really don’t have all that much room to talk. The Sox badly need to get back above .500 in a hurry, as the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, and Baltimore Orioles are really starting to pull clear with some room to spare. That means that Felix Doubront is going to have to have a heck of an effort in this one. A 10-5 record is awfully good for the righty, but the truth of the matter is that a 4.56 ERA just isn’t cutting it. This is almost a microcosm as to what’s wrong with Boston’s season, but Doubront is getting away with it… for now. He’ll get the ball from Bobby V on Thursday night with a chance to inch back closer to the .500 mark.
Cleveland was a game above .500 before going on a brutal 10-game losing skid that saw it fall out of the playoff race as well. Ubaldo Jimenez is going to get the ball on Thursday night, and that’s likely not a very good thing for the Tribe. Jimenez has allowed at least five runs in four of his last five starts, and he has walked a whopping 18 men in that stretch. This is clearly not the man that won 19 games two years ago and looked like was going to end up winning the Cy Young Award with ease. The last time he faced the Red Sox, Jimenez allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4.1 innings of work, and he very understandably was dealt the defeat. He’s now 8-11 on the campaign, and he has a woeful 5.29 ERA and 1.61 WHIP to go with a terrible K/BB ratio of 98/76.
Runs should be hitting the scoreboard with ease on Thursday, as neither of these pitchers are really worth all that much when push comes to shove. Take the ‘over’ on Thursday and know that you should be well on your way to the betting mutuels to cash your ticket by the sixth inning or so. Cleveland 8 – Boston 6