Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Sale
Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET Tuesday
- Red Sox (Chris Sale): -180
- Twins (Jose Berrios): +162
- Over/under: 7.5
Bet to Watch
Under 7.5 (-120)
Sale will toe the rubber for the Red Sox, which means runs may be hard to come by for Minnesota. He has put together a typically dominant 2018 season, owning a 2.75 ERA and 12.22 K/9 through his first 15 starts. And he’s been even filthier than usual over his past two contests. He’s allowed a ridiculous average distance of 157 feet, exit velocity of 83 mph and a hard-hit rate of just 16 — all three of which represent significant decreases compared to his 12-month averages.
The Twins have also struggled against left-handers all season, ranking just 21st in wRC+ and owning the eighth-highest strikeout rate in MLB. They feature a variety of switch-hitters in their lineup, but only two of their nine projected starters have posted better numbers against lefties than righties over the past 12 months. They could really struggle against an elite left-hander such as Sale.
I do see some value in targeting the Red Sox moneyline, which is lower than expected for a stud such as Sale. However, bettors have posted an -11.8% ROI targeting the Sox in such situations over the past two seasons.
The real value lies with the total of 7.5 runs, as the Sox could also struggle against Berrios, who ranks 21st in fielding independent pitching (FIP) and 19th in hard-contact rate out of 94 qualified starters. Plus, the right-hander has pitched extremely well over the past month, going 4-1 over his past six starts. During that 43.2-inning span, he posted a 2.47 ERA with an absurd 51 strikeouts to just six walks.
The under has gone 18-13 in Sale’s starts with a total of at least 7.5 since the start of the 2017 season.
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.