Tigers vs. Red Sox MLB Odds & Picks: Subpar Pitching Matchup Creates Value on Total (Wednesday, May 5)

Tigers vs. Red Sox MLB Odds & Picks: Subpar Pitching Matchup Creates Value on Total (Wednesday, May 5) article feature image
Credit:

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Bogaerts, left, and Alex Verdugo of the Boston Red Sox.

  • After a high-scoring series opener on Tuesday night, the Tigers and Red Sox face off in Game 2 of their series.
  • Both starting pitchers have struggled of late, while Boston might have the best lineup in MLB right now.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down where the betting value lies at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Tigers vs. Red Sox Odds

Tigers Odds +160
Red Sox Odds -190
Over/Under 9
Time Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Tuesday night via PointsBet.

While nothing has gone right for the Detroit Tigers this season, it’s been quite the opposite for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston, which entered Tuesday tied for the American League lead in runs scored, found itself sitting atop the AL East. In contrast, Detroit’s offense is by far the worst in baseball and showing no signs of getting better.

With that, the Red Sox are heavily favored in the second game of this series, but the early lines following Tuesday’s game could have actually been more lopsided.

Let’s dig into this one to see if we can find some betting value.

Detroit Tigers

After allowing just one run through 11 innings in his first two starts of 2021, Casey Mize has come back down to earth a bit of late. The former No. 1 overall pick has allowed 14 runs over his last three starts, spanning a combined 15 2/3 innings. Opponents have a 1.016 OPS against him in that stretch, plus they’ve connected for five home runs.

That has put Mize’s ERA at 5.06 and his 5.51 FIP indicates he has been every bit as bad as that number indicates and then some.

Mize’s fastball has been the problem. Opponents have a .792 slugging percentage against his heater, although a .500 mark against his splitter and .533 against his sinker aren’t great either. He shouldn’t expect to get any help from MLB’s worst offense. The Tigers entered the series opener with a .593 OPS. Over the past two weeks, that number was .512 ahead of the opener.

Detroit’s two early offensive hopes — Wilson Ramos and Akil Baddoo — have cooled off over the past two weeks. Ramos had a .494 OPS over the previous two weeks, and Baddoo was at .504. Aside from their promising starts to the season, this Tigers offense has been absolutely horrendous.

Are you looking for some good news about the Tigers? Sorry, I can’t help you.

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Boston Red Sox

Martín Pérez is not going to blow anyone away on the mound. He has registered one season with an ERA below 4.35, and that was all the way back in 2013. Since then, he has made a living by… well, I’m not quite sure.

Pérez has a career 4.71 ERA and 4.49 FIP. Since the start of 2017, his ERA is up to 5.10 and FIP at 4.81. He’s not very good, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting big-league chances. Pérez has a 4.70 ERA through his first five starts, but his 3.59 FIP indicates some bad luck. He’s only given up one home run over 23 innings, but he also has allowed 25 hits and nine walks in that span.

Although that FIP indicates better results are going to come Pérez’s way, I’m not counting on it.

What I am counting on: the Red Sox to score.

Boston entered Tuesday’s game ranked second in MLB with a .762 OPS. The Sox’s 65 doubles were 10 more than any other big-league team.

The four big bats in the Boston lineup this season have been J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo. While no one is praising Boston for getting Verdugo because of what it gave up, the left-handed-hitting outfielder has been an impressive plate-setter for the other three bats.

Martinez led MLB in RBIs entering the series, while Devers was tied for 10th. Meanwhile, Bogaerts leads all qualified MLB shortstops in OPS by a noteworthy margin.


Tigers-Red Sox Pick

The positive thing about Pérez and Mize is that both have been good about getting at least four innings in. They have been subpar, but not to the point that they have to be removed in the earlier innings.

In the series opener, the over cashed easily thanks to an early offensive onslaught from the Red Sox. The Tigers even got in the act later in the game.

This pitching matchup does nothing to indicate that a pitchers’ duel could be in order. We’ll play it safe and bet the over, even if Detroit’s offense has been especially suspect this season.

Also, not that the Tigers’ bullpen was solid to begin the series, but it was taxed heavily with Michael Fulmer not making it out of the first inning on Tuesday. The relief corps then allowed seven runs over the next seven innings.

This number was sitting at 9.5 runs on Tuesday. I’m fine playing it to 10 runs.

Pick: Total Over 9 Runs (play up to 10)

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