Date/Time: May 23, 7:10 p.m. EST
Television: MLB Network
Starting Pitchers: Cleveland (McAllister) Boston (Dempster)
MLB Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
Moneyline: Boston (-150) Cleveland (+130)
The magical Cleveland Indians lost a couple at home to the Detroit Tigers to drop their AL Central lead back to half a game, but they are still off to an amazing start in 2013. Boston started the year 20-8 before hitting a rough patch, but the Red Sox are playing good baseball again and they are just half a game back in the AL East.
Cleveland is 15-10 at home this year and 11-9 on the road. The Indians have made moneyline bettors a lot of money so far this year. Moneyline bettors are up more than $1,000 by backing the Indians with a $100 wager in every game this year. Cleveland’s offense has outperformed even the highest expectations so far in 2013. The Indians are averaging 5.02 runs per game, which is second most in the majors. Carlos Santana has had two very disappointing seasons the last two years, but he has been great so far this year. Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher have both brought a lot to this team. Swisher is the team leader, but he will miss this game due to being on the paternity list. Who could have guessed that at this point in the year the Indians would lead the majors with 62 home runs?
Cleveland will start Zach McAllister in this one. McAllister actually leads the team in ERA with a sparkling 2.65 ERA. He hasn’t given up more than 3 earned runs in a game all year. The Tribe offense hasn’t given him much run support. He’ll likely need more run support against a good Boston offense in this one.
Boston comes into this game as winners of six of their last eight games. Starting pitching has been the huge key for the Red Sox this year. Boston’s rotation really let them down last year, but they are coming up big in 2013. The Red Sox are getting awesome efforts from guys like Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. Ryan Dempster started the year very well, but his last two starts haven’t been good. Can Dempster get back on track Thursday night at Fenway against the Indians? Dempster walked six batters in less than 5 innings of work in his last outing.
Boston’s offense is rolling along very nicely this year. David Ortiz has come back from the disabled list and been a major contributor. Dustin Pedroia is one of the major league leaders in batting average at .332. Daniel Nava continues to contribute at a high level as well. Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks have actually been disappointing so far this year, but you have to expect those guys to turn it around sooner rather than later.
Free Pick: Red Sox ML
Cleveland played late into the night last night and then traveled to Fenway Park very late at night/early in the morning. Boston is a good team at home. I like the Red Sox here.