July 8, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take Boston Red Sox (-108) on the ML against Tampa Bay Rays risking 3.24% to win 3%
(Porcello and Cobb must start for the wager to have action)
We believe the perception of this matchup is somewhat skewed given the struggles of Rick Porcello this season. Porcello won the AL Cy Young award just a year ago, but has hardly looked as sharp as he did a season ago. Currently Porcello leads the league in losses (10) and has the dubious honor of being the most 'hittable' pitcher in the league, having surrendered a total of 141 hits. That being said, all of that cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of Porcello. While he has certainly not pitched the way he did a season ago, he has been quite misfortunate at times, having balls that should be routine outs, dropped or misplayed in the infield which counted as hits. Run support has also not always been there for him this season as it was a season ago, which has certainly continued to some losses. His metrics are also somewhat skewed given that a season ago hitters were batting .228 against him while that number has now increased to .301. We believe both sides of that spectrum are skewed and if this start regressing more to the median, that there will be a drastic turnaround in Porcello’s performances.
Despite his struggles, he now faces a team that he knows extremely well. He has solid career numbers against the Rays, having gone 10-6 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.206 WHIP over 126 innings in 19 career starts against this team. Porcello has also appeared comfortable in this venue and it has certainly shown as he is 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP over 62.1 innings in his nine career starts at Tropicana Field. Given his struggles this season, we have no doubt that he is motivated to turn things around and show that he is still capable of producing quality outings.
The Red Sox currently lead the AL East and will need to continue to win game in order to hold off their bitter-rivals, the New York Yankees. Boston has certainly shown that they have an explosive offense as they have been averaging over 7 runs per contest over their last 9 games. That could spell bad news for a Tamp team who has relied mostly on stellar pitching as their offense has shown their ability to go cold at a moment's notice this season.
Alex Cobb with take the mound for the Rays and while he has not been perceived to have struggled as much as his counterpart this season, Cobb has proven to be a middle of the rotation type pitcher. He has not been poor, and he has not been great. He has a 4.01 ERA and a mediocre 6-6 record and we don't feel that a type of performance like that will be enough to cool off a red-hot Red Sox offense. The oddsmakers have undervalued the Red Sox offense and based these odds solely on the struggles of Porcello. This game may be close in the early going, but as the game wears on and the Red Sox find their groove, we believe they will be able to outpace the Rays on the scoreboard and come away with the victory.
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