Red Sox @ Rays August 9 Free Pick

August 9, 2017 Posted in MLB by No Comments

There weren’t many runs at the start, nor at the end of last night’s game in Kansas City. But both teams went off in the middle to push it over without much problem.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Chris Sale struck out 13 Rays in eight shutout innings last night to run Boston’s winning streak to seven. Tampa’s starting pitcher Austin Pruitt impressed me, though. He gave up just one run in six innings, displaying impressive command of a wide repertoire and picking off Eduardo Nunez at first base with a sneaky move.

Rick Porcello struggled against the White Sox in his last start but won to make his record 5-14. You might find that last sentence alarming but not as alarming as the one upcoming. We’re backing him on the road tonight.

Free Pick

Porcello has made three starts against Tampa Bay and each has been better than the last. He was lit up on April 14 in his third start of the season when he gave up four home runs at Fenway Park before departing with one out in the fifth inning. For a while, that was his only really bad starts among some good ones and so-so ones but kind of kept his ERA high.

He didn’t get much help in his next, allowing two unearned runs and three earned in six innings, again at home. He did give up nine hits but didn’t walk any and struck out seven.

He threw his best game of the year in his most recent outing against the Rays, though. He gave up six hits and no runs in eight innings, again walking none and striking out seven. He had been pretty good since then before his last dud against the White Sox.

I believe in Porcello tonight because of his command against a team that doesn’t often score without hitting it over the fence. July was his best month yet and I’m willing to give him another shot after the ChiSox debacle (remember, Boston still won it for him). I would say my leash for him has been long this season but I don’t think he’s been on any leash at all, just running wild in the park.

But if the Red Sox are going to get him some runs, that’s not such a bad thing. They’ve won seven in a row, primarily because the offense has started to score with Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers now mainstays in the lineup. I’m buying Boston as a cheap road favorite to win its eighth in a row.

Free Pick: Boston (-118)

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Evan Petty

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Handicapper out of the North Shore, MA.

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