Detroit (51-48) at Boston (55-41)
When: Monday, July 25th 2016
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: ESPN
The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox begin a key three-game series Monday night at Fenway Park in Boston with the Sox leading the Wild Card while the Tigers are four back. Boston’s pitching has been an issue all season and it showed it’s ugly head again this weekend when they allowed 18 runs Saturday and Sunday while splitting a four-game series with the AL-Worst Minnesota Twins. It’s a good thing they have the best offense in Baseball to pick up the slack. Boston has scored eight or more runs in four of their last five games. Boston RF Mookie Betts (knee) sat out the last two games but is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday. Hanley Ramirez has been swinging a hot bat for Boston and has five homeruns in the last five games including one yesterday. The Tigers suffered two walk-off losses on Sunday. The first was a resumption of the Saturday night game that was called due to rain, then lost 5-4 in the regularly scheduled game to the Chicago White Sox. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in the last two games.
Pitchers: Tigers – Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) | Red Sox – Drew Pomeranz (8-7, 2.83)
Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander will try and cool down the Red Sox offense. He has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts and is coming off a gem against the Twins. Verlander allowed just one run on two hits while striking out nine in eight innings on Wednesday, but did not factor in the decision. Verlander put together a similar effort in his last appearance at Fenway Park last July, when he did not factor in the decision despite allowing one run across eight innings.
Drew Pomeranz will make his second start for Boston after coming over from San Diego before the All-Star Break. His first outing didn’t go so well as he was hit for five runs on eight hits in three-plus innings against San Francisco. Pomeranz will be making his first career start against Detroit.
It’s tough to go against the Red Sox right now, but their pitching, including their bullpen, worries me. Verlander should be able to slow them down a bit and I think the Tigers offense can get to Pomeranz like the Giants did last week. I’ll take a stab at the underdog here.
Pick: Tigers +140