The streaking Boston Red Sox put their five-game winning streak on the line as they face off with the Cleveland Guardians in game two of this weekend series. Join us for our MLB odds series, where our Red Sox-Guardians prediction and pick will be revealed.
Boston is inching its way closer and closer to possessing the second-place spot in a crowded AL East, as the Red Sox now only sit a half-game behind Toronto in the standings. Currently at 40-31 overall, RHP Josh Winckowski will put his 2-1 record and 3.68 ERA to the test on this final Saturday of June.
Winners in eight of their past eleven ballgames, Cleveland has skyrocketed up the AL Central leaderboard and is now tied with the Twins for the first place spot. Attempting to give his team full possession of first place will be the starter in righty Shane Bieber. Bieber has compiled a 3-3 record with a 3.00 ERA thus far this season.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Red Sox-Guardians MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Red Sox-Guardians Odds
Boston Red Sox: +1.5 (+156)
Cleveland Guardians: -1.5 (+130)
Over: 8.5 (-104)
Under: 8.5 (-118)
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Why The Red Sox Could Cover the Spread
Here comes Boston! After a month of sluggish play, the Red Sox have used the marathon that is the MLB regular season to their advantage by refining their game and tweaking the little details to come out victorious more often. Now almost ten games above the .500 mark, the Red Sox are primed to make a postseason push in the next few months of play.
Boston banged out twelve hits during the first game of this series, as the Red Sox were able to overwhelm Cleveland with their excellent hitting and timely at-bats. On the season, Boston has consistently been one of the better hitting teams that baseball has to offer with top ten rankings in multiple statistical categories.
With the third-best batting average and the ninth-most runs scored in the league, the Red Sox will make you pay at the plate. A similar recipe for success would surely guarantee another spread-covering win out on the road.
The biggest difference-maker in this matchup will no doubt come in the form of the Toledo, Ohio native in Winckowski, who will me making his first-ever appearance against his hometown squad. The 23-year-old has a respectable fastball and a changeup that can make hitters pull the string too early. While his strikeouts are down during his three starts on the year, Winckowski’s ability to record outs in any way possible is a huge plus for a Red Sox bunch that wants to keep this train rolling.
With the sixth-best team ERA at 3.58, the Red Sox pitching staff has made a name for themselves as an extremely gritty crew that can beat you down in a multitude of ways.
Why The Guardians Could Cover the Spread
Like the Red Sox, the Guardians were also one of the hottest teams in baseball before dropping back-to-back games for the first time in weeks. Facing some possible late-inning magic by loading up the bases in the ninth against Boston closer Tanner Houck, All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez grounded out to end the game and any possible rally in the 6-3 defeat at home.
In order to avoid their short two-game skid becoming too lengthy, Cleveland must stick to the basics. The Guardians should get a nice boost from the packed home crowd on this warm, Saturday evening.
With the balmy weather on tap for this weekend’s showdown, the ball should be flying effortlessly through the air, as Cleveland is no stranger to the occasional game-changing long ball. No shocker here, but leading the club in home runs has been Jose Ramirez and his 16 round-trippers. While Ramirez couldn’t quite come through on Friday, the Guardians’ most feared hitter could change the tide in this one with one swing of the bat.
The 2020 AL Cy Young winner in Shane Bieber is on track to make his 14th start on the campaign. The right-handed hurler is coming off a stellar outing against a powerful Dodgers squad in which he struck out nine batters and only allowed two runs on seven hits. Bieber will look to overcome his struggles in his career versus Boston as he is 2-2 with a colossal 6.95 career in three starts.
Final Red Sox-Guardians Prediction & Pick
While picking the Guardians to win straight up isn’t a bad bet, expecting them to cover the -1.5 run spread versus a Boston team that is hotter than the sun is a tall task for any team.
Final Red Sox-Guardians Pick: Red Sox +1.5 (-156)