Tigers vs. Red Sox Odds, Pick, Prediction: Backing Rookie Starters at Fenway Park (Monday, June 20)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Faedo.
- The Tigers travel to Boston to begin a series with the Red Sox.
- Each team is sending a rookie to the mound to face offenses trending in different directions.
- Mike Ianniello previews the game and shares his best bet below.
Tigers vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-195|
|Over/Under||9.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Detroit and Boston will kick off a three-game series between two teams in fourth place in their respective divisions. However, the Red Sox sit five games above .500 in the best division in baseball, while the Tigers are 14 games under .500 in the worst division in the American League.
With a -92 run differential, the Tigers expected record is actually 22-44, which would be the worst record in the American League. After a horrible start, Boston has gone 13-4 during the month of June.
For Tigers fans, all they care about right now is the recent call up of top prospect Riley Greene. Baseball’s No. 2 ranked prospect, a former fifth overall pick, made his big league debut on Saturday and went 2-for-3 after getting a hit in his first at bat.
Detroit Tigers: Will Faedo Bounce Back?
Detroit will have rookie Alex Faedo on the mound Monday. He is the Tigers No. 15 ranked prospect and a former first-round pick. He made his MLB debut on May 4 and has eight starts in his young career. Faedo has a 4.28 ERA and a 4.46 xFIP.
Faedo has actually been pretty solid with the exceptions of his last start. He allowed two runs or fewer in his first seven starts before getting shelled for seven in his that outing. It is a bit worrisome that he doesn’t strike out many batters and has given up a high average exit velocity this year.
The Tigers need their pitching staff to keep opponents off the board because their offense has been historically bad. They are averaging just 2.9 runs per game, the lowest of any team in over 50 years. They rank dead last in wOBA and wRC+ and have hit just 35 home runs all season — more than 10 less than every other team.
The good news for Detroit is that after leading the team in home runs last season, Robbie Grossman finally hit his first home run of the season on Saturday. He quickly doubled his total with another one on Sunday.
Boston Red Sox: Will Offense Stay Hot?
Another rookie will be on the hill as Josh Winckowski gets the ball for the Red Sox. He is Boston’s No. 13 ranked prospect and seventh ranked pitching prospect. He has been called up twice for spot starts and made his MLB debut on May 28. With Nathan Eovaldi on the IL, Winckowski will make his third career start on Monday.
In his debut, Winckowski allowed four runs in just three innings. However, he settled in last week, tossing five scoreless innings and earning the win against Oakland. In nine starts for Triple-A Worcester, he is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA. After being drafted by Toronto in 2016, he has been traded twice already in his career. First from the Blue Jays to the Mets as part of the Steven Matz deal, and then to the Red Sox as part of a three-team trade for Andrew Benintendi.
Over the past 30 days, Boston’s offense ranks third in wOBA and wRC+. Over the entire season they have been just middle of the pack. The Red Sox don’t hit a ton of home runs, but they do have the fifth highest average exit velocity in the league. They also don’t strike out very often.
The Sox are extremely top heavy as only three Boston players have a wRC+ over 100. However, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are all over 150 in wRC+. Over the past month, eight players have a wRC+ over 100.
Tigers-Red Sox Pick
As good as the Boston offense has been, they are still very top heavy. Bogaerts, Martinez and Devers are pretty much the only hitters you can consistently trust. Faedo is coming off a blow up outing, but has consistently been solid and has an 11.77 K/9 rate over his past three starts.
He’ll be opposed by a fellow rookie, although one who is coming off a gem. Winckowski has faced Baltimore and Oakland, and now gets an even easier opponent in a historically bad offense. Detroit does not have a single player with a wRC+ over 110 or an OPS over .730.
Detroit and Boston have been the second and fourth most profitable teams to bet unders on in the league this year. They have gone a combined 76-51-6 to the under and went 2-1 when they faced each other earlier this year.
It feels weird to have more faith in two rookie pitchers than these offenses, but I’ll back the under 9.5 and would play it down to -115.
Pick: Under 9.5 (-105)