Scott Kazmir (2-1, 2.75 ERA) gets the start for the Oakland Athletics (12-21) as they meet Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.38 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox (14-17) in the first of a three-game series at O.C. Coliseum. The Athletics go into this series on a five-game losing streak. The game starts at 10:05 p.m. ET on Monday, May. 11 and will air on NESN and CSN-CA.
Kazmir is 9-8 with a 3.98 ERA against the Red Sox in his career, and is up against a less-than-stellar Boston offense that's hitting just .233 on the year. Stephen Vogt (.340, 17 Rs, 8 HRs, 26 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 3 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. In his career against the Athletics, Porcello is 4-5 with a 3.73 ERA. He meets a strong Oakland offense that's batting .258. Pablo Sandoval (.306, 15 Rs, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs.
Oakland is a -132 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Athletics perform poorly as a favorite with a 7-13 record and have an overall money line of -1,156. The Athletics come into the game with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the AL, averaging 4.7 runs per game. The Athletics rank third in the AL in hits with 9.2 per game.
Across the field, the Red Sox have a record of 5-6 when they are the underdog and are -629 overall with the money line. The Red Sox will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, Boston's run production has dropped to 2.6 runs per game, compared to 4.7 for the duration of the season. Boston has an eye for the strike zone, averaging an AL-best 3.9 walks per game.
The Athletics will take on a right-hander (Porcello) in this game and have an 11-15 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The left-handed Kazmir will take the mound against the Red Sox, who have a 3-3 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - OAK, O/U - Over
Oakland has won 28% (5-13) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Boston has won 43% (6-8) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Athletics managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Red Sox who are coming in with an 8-9 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 2-12. The Red Sox have a 3-17 record when opponents outhit them.
Oakland and Boston both rank in the top 10 of the league in home runs. Oakland sits at 10th with 31 home runs this season and Boston ranks eighth with 34.
Ranking 10th, Boston is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.07 per game. Oakland ranks in the top five at third with 9.19.
Ranking 23rd, Boston is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.689). Oakland ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .712.
When the Red Sox allow at least one home run, they are 6-16. When the Athletics allow one or more homers, they have a 2-13 record.