MLB Bets for Monday, April 5 - Fade the Public and Back the Struggling Red Sox

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking previews Monday's MLB betting action and shares the two top picks on his baseball betting card.
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Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

American League East rivals clash when Boston hosts Tampa Bay for the first of a three-game series. First pitch for the Rays vs. Red Sox contest is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. Tampa Bay won the season series 7–3 last year, including all four games in Boston, and OVER posted a 6-3-1 record on run total wagers. The Rays have won eight straight games in Boston and they are 12–1 at Fenway Park dating back to the 2019 season. Tampa Bay opened the season with a 2–1 series win on the road in Miami while the Red Sox were swept 3–0 at home by Baltimore.

For just the second time in team history, Boston opened their season with three straight losses at Fenway Park. The first time it happened, back in 1948, the Red Sox lost their first four home games. After getting rained-out on Opening Day, Boston managed just two hits during a 3–0 loss to Baltimore on Friday. That was followed by a 4–2 loss on Saturday as the Red Sox went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Orioles scored seven runs in the third inning to complete the sweep with an 11–3 win yesterday. Boston has managed just 15 hits, and struck out 24 times, over 27 innings.

Reigning American League champion Tampa Bay finished spring training with a 13­­–15 record but closed strong with six wins over the final seven games. The Rays opened the season with a 1–0 win in Miami. Austin Meadows supplied the offense with a two-out home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing 4–2, Tampa Bay scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning and defeated Miami 6–4 in the second game on Friday. The Marlins scored three runs, in both the seventh and eighth innings, and won the series finale 12–7 on Saturday. The Rays visit Boston as slight road favorites.

RHP Michael Wacha signed a one-year contract with Tampa Bay in offseason and makes his debut for the Rays tonight. Following seven seasons in St. Louis, Wacha was 1–4 over eight games with the New York Mets last year. He allowed 25 earned runs, over 34-innings pitched, and finished the season with a 6.62 ERA. Acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, in late August last season, RHP Nick Pivetta gets the start for Boston. He allowed two earned runs, over 10 innings pitched, and won both his starts for the Red Sox in September. 

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, 71% of the bets as of 12:52 pm EST are on the Rays, but the amount of money taken in is almost identical on both sides.

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Expecting a close contest, take the runs and bet on Boston.

Pick: Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-143) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:10 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:10 p.m. ET

Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

American League West leaders meet when Houston visits Los Angeles for the first of a two-game series. First pitch for the Astros vs. Angels contest is slated for 9:38 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Houston (4–0) has a one-game lead on Los Angeles (3­­–1) after both teams won their season-opening series. These teams met 10 times last year and the Angels had a slight edge with a 6–4 straight up record. Los Angeles closed the season series with five straight wins. Nine or more runs were scored in all ten games and OVER posted a 9-0-1 record on run total wagers.

A longshot to win the 2021 World Series, with a +4000 preseason moneyline, Los Angeles opened the season with an impressive 3­–1 series win against the Chicago White Sox. The Angeles scored twice in the eighth inning and won 4–3 on Opening Day. Rookie Yermín Mercedes went 5-for-5, and José Abreu hit a grand slam, as the White Sox rebounded with a 12–8 win on Friday. The Angels closed the series with a 5–3 win on Saturday and a 7–4 victory last night. Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani blasted two of the seven home runs the Angels hit during the four-game series.

Houston opened their season with a strong statement on the road as they hammered Oakland during a four-game sweep. Including a 9–5 win in the second game, which was the smallest margin of victory, the Astros outscored the Athletics by a 35–9 combined count. Houston racked up 47 hits on offense, including 12 doubles and eight home runs. Astros’ pitchers held the Athletics to just 21 hits and allowed two runs or less in three of the four games. Houston is currently priced at +750 to win the American League championship, and +1400 to win the World Series, on the futures board at DraftKings.

Both teams turn to the fifth starter in their rotation as RHP Luis Garcia gets the start for Houston and LHP Jose Quintana heads to the hill for Los Angeles. Garcia posted a 2.92 ERA, over 12.1 innings pitched, during five regular season appearances for the Astros last season. After signing a one-year contract in February, Quintana is making his debut for the Angels. After starting 32 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2018, and 31 games in 2019, injuries limited Quintana to just one start last season. In a matchup of suspect pitchers, bet the moneyline and back the hotter hitting Astros here.

Pick: Houston Astros (+108) moneyline at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:38 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:38 p.m. ET

2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 2–2


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