Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boston News

The Boston Red Sox send Clay Buchholz to the mound in tonights rubber match against David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays. Having fallen 4-0 in Game 1, the Sox were able to respond with a 3-0 victory last night thanks to Josh Beckett.
Today I will provide my MLB Free Pick on the Red Sox as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays set to start at 7:10 PM ET. My proprietary sports handicapping database and simulator shows a high probability that Boston will win this game. Boston is certainly one of the best teams in the American League and are playing at a very high level each game.
Last night the Red Sox grabbed the victory in a 3-0 shutout win over the Rays. Boston’s starter Josh Beckett allowed just one hit and completely dominated the entire Rays lineup.
Boston has won 10 of the past 11 games and led the American League East by 1 1/2 games over the rival New York Yankees and by 4 1/2 games over the Rays. The 2-10 horrific start to this season is all, but a distant nightmare for Red Sox Nation. Since that start they have posted a remarkable 38-17 mark and has been led nearly equally by great starting pitching and strong offensive outings.
Offensive Team Statistics
The Red Sox rank best in baseball with a .273 team batting average and .347 on-base-percentage. Moreover, they rank second with 353 runs scored and a .445 slugging percentage. The Rays simply do not have the personnel to compete against the Red Sox. The Rays rank 16th in baseball with 277 runs scored, 23rd with a .243 team batting average, 24th with a .309 on-base-percentage, and 14th with a .390 slugging percentage.
Team Pitching Rankings
Despite ranking 20th with a 4.01 ERA, Boston ranks fourth best allowing a .240 opponents team batting average. They rank 23rd with 35 quality starts and clearly reflects the strength and depth of their bullpen. The pitching staff does not hurt themselves and has posted a 1.28 WHIP, ranking ninth best in baseball.
By comparison the Rays have a slight edge in team pitching, but this is not near enough to offset the tremendous advantage Boston enjoys offensively, thanks to guys like David Ortiz. The Rays rank third best in baseball allowing a .237 batting average, fourth with a 1.22 WHIP, 12th with a 3.68 ERA, and 16th with 37 quality starts.
Boston will send Clay Buchholz to the hill and he has posted strong numbers this season that match his career stats too. For the season he has started 13 games spanning 77 1/3 innings of work and has allowed a .248 opponent batting average. He is coming off a strong start winning 5-1 at Toronto logging seven innings and allowing just one earned run on three hits.
For the season he has averaged 98 pitches per start allowing a .248 opponent batting average, and 10 home runs for a 0.13 home run-per-at-bat ratio. In his career he has posted a 1.35 WHIP and a .248 opponents batting average allowing 43 home runs for a 0.10 home run-per-at-bat ratio.
MLB odds makers have set Boston as the slight dog tonight. This favor Buchholz, as he is a near perfect 8-1 in his last nine road starts installed as a dog. Moreover, the Red sox are 22-6 in games following a win this season. Rays are on a weak 2-6 run when facing a team with a winning record. Take the Red Sox.

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