Red Sox vs. Rangers MLB Odds & Picks: Bet Boston & Its Hitters To Win (Thursday, April 29)
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Martín Pérez.
- The Texas Rangers kick off their four-game home stand with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday at Globe Field.
- Boston starting pitcher Martín Pérez faces his former club, whom he was with for seven seasons.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down this game and details why he's backing the Red Sox.
Red Sox vs. Rangers Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-118|
|Time||8:05 p.m. ET|
After a horrific 2020 season where they finished 24-36 and the worst record in the American League East, it appears the Boston Red Sox have bounced back and put last year behind them.
The Red Sox have gotten off to a 16-9 start and currently sit atop the AL East. Boston enters the day with the most wins in the league, plus it boasts a scoring differential at +22 this season.
After opening the campaign with three consecutive losses to the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox haven’t lost a series since then and most recently swept a two-game set against the New York Mets.
The Red Sox will take on another team that finished last in their division last year in the Texas Rangers. However, the Rangers haven’t experienced the quick bounce back Boston has, as they still sit at the bottom of the AL West standings at 10-15.
The Rangers’ -19 run differential is the third worst in the league. They have lost five of their last six games and now welcome the Red Sox to Global Life Field for Thursday’s game that kicks off a four-game series.
Boston Red Sox
Martín Pérez, who pitched for the Rangers for seven seasons, will be on the mound for the Red Sox. Pérez has yet to log a quality start in four starts, plus he has been pulled in the fourth inning in each of his last two starts.
His K/9 rate is up slightly from last season, but so is his BB/9. The positive note for Perez is that, while he’s allowing more contact this season, he has lowered his Hard Hit% from 30.3% last year to 18.2%, which would be a career low.
The 30-year old lefty throws five pitches, but mostly relies on his cutter, changeup and sinker. His sinker has been terrific this year, good for a 33.3 K% and allowing just a .130 batting average.
The biggest reason for the Red Sox resurgence this season has been their red-hot bats. Boston leads the MLB with a .267 batting and .772 OPS this season. The club is first in wOBA and wRC+, play it has hit 59 doubles and that’s 12 more than the next closest team.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is batting .348, sitting third in the league with 31 hits. J.D. Martinez has bounced back from the worst year of his career and has a .337 batting average. He leads the league in doubles, sits one off the home run lead and is third in RBIs overall.
Five of Martinez’s seven home runs have come against right-handed pitchers and Martinez (.383), Bogaerts (.345), Alex Verdugo (.345) and Rafael Devers (.276) have all teed off on righties this season.
Opening Day starter Kyle Gibson is quietly having a terrific season. After allowing five runs in the first inning to start the season, Gibson has allowed just two runs in his next four starts over 27 innings. He has racked up 23 strikeouts and hasn’t allowed a home run.
Gibson’s 2.30 ERA and 3.66 xFIP would both be career highs. He has a solid six-pitch arsenal, which includes a sinker, slider, fastball, changeup, curveball and a newly added cutter.
All of his pitches — except the changeup — have a positive pitch value, with all improving from last season. Gibson’s fastball is allowing just 11.1 HardHit% and his slider has a 49.1 K percentage.
Offensively, the Rangers have been about middle of the pack. They average 4.0 runs per game, rank 16th in batting average, 17th in wOBA and 12th in wRC+.
Texas has gotten a bit of a disappointing season out of star outfielder Joey Gallo. The former All-Star is batting .224 with only two home runs and nine RBIs thus far.
Instead, the Rangers have been led by 26-year old Nick Solak, who leads the them with a .319 average and seven home runs. He has been on a tear of late, batting .435 with four multi-hit games in his last five games.
Red Sox-Rangers Pick
When this line opened Wednesday, the Red Sox were -145 favorites and the Rangers were +134. At that number, I probably would have leaned Texas.
However, the Rangers took early money and as of Thursday morning sit at +100, while Boston is down to -118. At these numbers, I think I have to buy the Red Sox. Boston has the league’s second-best winning percentage, and its offense has been on fire. The Red Sox are capable of scoring against anybody.
Texas has the clear pitching advantage here, but Gibson is 33 years old and has a 4.52 career ERA. He is probably due for some regression from the last couple starts.
The Red Sox have crushed right-handed pitching all year, and the Rangers really struggle against left-handed pitchers. Texas ranks 24th in batting average against left-handers this season, and 27th in wOBA and wRC+.
Texas has had issues hitting at home, so at the current price I think there is value on the Red Sox.
Pick: Boston -118 (would play to -125)