MLB Pick & Preview – Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox
Total -10 ov -115
The Cleveland Indians will be in Fenway Park tonight for the first of a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox in a matchup of two teams battling for a spot in the postseason. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Cleveland finds itself hanging on for dear life in the AL Central race with eight losses in its last 10 games including a 5-3 loss to Kansas City on Sunday as a 123 home favorite. This latest setback dropped the Indians to 53-52 on the year and 2.5 games in back of Detroit in the division. They are 29-24 at home and 24-28 on the road.
Run support from Cleveland’s once reliable lineup has dwindled to an average of just 3.38 runs per game since the All-Star break while its team ERA has ballooned to 3.99. Josh Tomlin is expected to be on the mound in this one. He is 11-5 overall with a 4.01 ERA in 21 starts this season. Tomlin did pitch eight strong innings against the Angels last Tuesday after giving up 12 earned runs over his previous three starts. He is 1-1 against the Red Sox with a 3.21 ERA.
Boston has won seven of its last 10 games including Sunday’s 5-3 victory over Chicago as a 111 road underdog, but still only leads New York by two games in the AL East. The Red Sox have the best overall record in the AL at 66-40 and are 33-21 on the road and 33-19 at home.
Scoring has not been an issue for this team this season especially over the last week or so. Boston has averaged 7.13 runs in its last eight games as compared to its league-high 5.53 season average. This lineup boasts four players with at least 60 RBI, led by Adrian Gonzalez’s MLB-best 90.
It is John Lackey’s turn in the rotation for the Red Sox. He has given up a ton of runs this season with an ERA of 6.20, but has been a major benefactor from this powerful lineup with a 9-8 record overall. Last time out, he gave up four runs on 11 hits, but still managed to notch his fourth-straight win. Lifetime against Cleveland he is 6-7 with a 4.07 ERA.
Head-to-head this season, the Indians have won four of the six games played in Cleveland. The total stayed ‘under’ in four of them.
Stick with Boston to start evening things out in its home park tonight behind another productive effort at the plate.