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Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox
Division leaders continue a three-game series when Boston battles Oakland. Game time for the Red Sox vs. Athletics contest is 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. This is the second of six meetings this season. Oakland broke a 1–1 tie with two runs in the seventh inning and won the series opener 3–2 last night. Strong pitching led both teams, as there were 19 combined strikeouts and just 11 total hits. This is the first series between these teams since the Red Sox won four of six games in 2019. The Athletics win last night was their first in Boston since the 2018 season.
Oakland (22–15) stumbled out of the starting gate as they opened the season with a 1–7 record. The Athletics were outscored 59–19 over the first eight games. Kicking their offense into gear, Oakland went on a 13-game winning streak and outscored their opponents by an 81–36 margin. Pitching was also strong as Oakland had four shutouts and allowed three runs or less in nine wins. The Athletics lead Houston by 2.5 games in the AL West but have leveled off at 8–8 over the last 16 games. Oakland is averaging 4.13 runs per game on offense, and they allow 4.37 runs on defense.
Boston (22–15) sits first overall in AL East standings. The Red Sox have a 2.0 game lead on the Yankees and a 2.5 game lead on the Blue Jays. Boston returned home following a 3–1 series win in Baltimore. The Red Sox outscored the Orioles 21-11 during the three wins. Baltimore avoided a sweep with a 4–1 victory in the series finale on Monday. Boston has an MLB best 12–5 record on the road, but they are just 10–10 at home this season. The Red Sox lead the league in runs scored (190), batting average (.261), and slugging percentage (.434). They average 5.13 runs and allow 4.27 runs per game.
Experience vs. youth is a key component of the pitching matchup tonight. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5–0, 3.82 ERA) is making his seventh start for Boston. He allowed one run and seven hits, over five innings, during the Red Sox 6–2 win in Baltimore on May 7. Making the first start of his MLB career, RHP James Kaprielian gets the call for Oakland. He allowed three runs and four hits, over 3.2 innings, during two relief appearances late last season. Boston is 3–1 after losing two straight games this year. With a pitching edge, plus the better overall offense, lay the runs and bet on Boston to cover.
Pick: Boston Red Sox -1.5 (+126) run line
Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers
Struggling squads meet when Detroit hosts Kansas City for the second of a three-game series. The first pitch for the Royals vs. Tigers matchup is at 7:10 p.m. ET at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich. This is the sixth of 19 meetings this year, and Kansas City has a 4–1 season series lead. Back when they were playing above expectations, the Royals outscored the Tigers 15–5 during a four-game swept in Detroit. The Tigers were up 7–0 before scoring one run in the bottom of the ninth to win 8–7 last night. Dating back to the 2020 season, Kansas City is 7–4 over 11 games played in Detroit.
Kansas City (16–18) entered the season with a 73.5 win total on the MLB futures board at DraftKings. Hot out of the starting gate, the Royals were 16–9 on May 1 and owned a 1.5 game lead on Chicago in the AL Central standings. Crashing back to earth, Kansas City has lost nine straight and was outscored by a 66–28 margin. Struggling on offense, the Royals have been shutout twice over their last five games. Kansas City is in Detroit after being swept 4–0 by Cleveland and 3–0 by Chicago during two series at home. The Royals were outscored 45–17 during those seven losses.
Detroit (11–24) also began the year with low expectations as they had a 68.5 win total. The Tigers were competitive early as they opened the season with a 3–2 record. Since then, not much has gone right for Detroit as they enter this series on an 8–22 losing skid. Offense and pitching have been issues during the skid. The Tigers were shut out five times and outscored 105–39 during the 18 losses. Detroit faced a tough schedule recently as they lost series to the White Sox (2–1), Yankees (3–0), and Red Sox (2–1). Detroit split two games with Minnesota at home (both 7–3 finals) before this series.
Both starting pitchers are making their seventh start of the season. RHP Casey Mize (1–3, 4.41 ERA) gets the call for Detroit, and LHP Danny Duffy (4–2, 1.26 ERA) heads to the hill for Kansas City. Mize allowed six runs and seven hits, over 4.2 innings, during the Tigers 6–2 loss at home to the Royals on April 23. Over five scoreless innings, Duffy allowed four hits and posted eight strikeouts during the Royals 4–0 win in Detroit on April 25. Kansas City has a pitching advantage tonight, and that will help snap their long losing streak. Bet the moneyline and back the Royals as road favorites.
Pick: Kansas City Royals (-134) moneyline
2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 22–26 (-4.04 Units)
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