MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Red Sox vs. Athletics: Is the Total Too Low in Oakland? (Friday, July 2)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Red Sox vs. Athletics: Is the Total Too Low in Oakland? (Friday, July 2) article feature image

Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald. Pictured: Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez.

  • The Red Sox and Athletics meet for the start of a three-game series on Friday night in Oakland.
  • These are two of the best offenses in baseball and both have enticing matchups in the opposing starters.
  • Kenny Ducey previews the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Red Sox vs. Athletics Odds

Red Sox Odds-125
Athletics Odds+105
Over/Under8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time9:40 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.

The Boston Red Sox's form truly will be put to the test on Friday when they face the dangerous Oakland A's, who will be particularly glad to see a lefty on the hill. Oakland has cooled off just a bit lately, but will be hoping for a big offense explosion at home to one-up a potent offense.

With both teams expected to swing the bats well, could there be value in targeting a relatively normal total? Let's take a look at the matchup.

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Red-Hot Red Sox Turn to E-Rod

The Red Sox are rapidly becoming the hottest team in baseball and enter this one with 43 runs in the past five games. This team has an insane .247 ISO over the last week and a 45.8% hard-hit rate. Hunter Renfroe has come alive at the dish, and Rafael Devers is still raking, hitting .357 over the span. Life is good for Boston's bats, and the Sox are now looking for a third consecutive series win after sweeping the Yankees and Royals.

Eduardo Rodriguez, at least lately, has been good, too. He's coming off one of his best starts of the season against the dangerous Yankees, where he allowed just two earned runs over six frames, but prior to that his results left a lot to be desired. All told, E-Rod owns a 5.83 ERA and posted a 6.23 ERA in June, though his believers would point to his low 3.38 expected ERA and improved strikeout rates as reasons as to why he might pitch better as the summer wears on.

There's that, and there's the fact that Rodriguez has a good pedigree and a track record of pitching well. Whatever the narrative, the lefty will have his work cut out for him against one of the American League's better offenses.

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Oakland Looks to Get Bats Going Again

Yes, let's talk about said offense. It's true that it's posted just a 56 wRC+ over the last week, but it did run into some decent pitching, especially in San Francisco. The A's also have hit well all season long, and against a lefty I expect them to wake up just a bit.

The A's have been firmly in the top 10 against left-handers all season long, with guys like Ramón Laureano and Matt Olson destroying in that split. Their recent struggles have dropped them to 11th in wRC+ to lefties, though they're still a very dangerous team in this scenario.

Speaking of dangerous, Frankie Montas will get the ball for Oakland here, and he is not very good. He has allowed hard-hit balls at better than a 45% rate, which is well worse than the 35.4% league average. His xwOBA on contact is .409, which would further indicate that when guys are able to get the bat on the ball against him, it flies. His sinker just sits in the middle of the plate and has been the source of many offensive triumphs.

Red Sox-Athletics Pick

Montas should be minced meat against an offense this talented and accomplished, and on the other end Rodriguez should revert back to his struggles against a team that has done so much against lefties. The small sample of the last week is a bit scary, but I do think this is the type of matchup that gets the A's out of their funk.

With Boston doing most of the heavy lifting, and the A's picking up a few runs, I think we can get to the over here.

Pick: Over 8.5 (-105)

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