Posted: Oct. 05, 2007
8:30 pm Eastern
Opening Line: Red Sox -155, Total 9.5 Flat
Daisuke Matsuzaka will try and lead the Boston Red Sox to a 2-0 lead in their series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. Josh Beckett dominated the Angels in Game #1 on Wednesday as the Red Sox won 4-0. If Dice K can duplicate that performance the Angels will be in a serious hole. Bookmaker reports that early betting has the public taking the favored Red Sox at Home.
Matsuzaka went 3-4 in the final 10 games this season. He was 15-12 on the year with a 4.40 ERA. He has had six days off and is pitching at home where he was 8-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 14 starts this season. He has not faced the Angels in his career. "I think when you first face a pitcher, there's probably a slight advantage to the pitcher, just in picking up release points, picking up spin on a ball, picking up where the ball is breaking," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "If it's a late break or more of a slurve, what is his arm speed like? There are only so many things you can pick up in the batter's box; you need to be in the batter's box to pick those up. So we're going to make a quick study and see exactly what's happening. You know his tendencies on what counts -- that's easy. But still, to hit the ball and to pick it up and lock in on a pitcher, it's going to take -- well, you can't substitute. You're going to get in the batter's box and see it, so we'll have to make a quick study."
Dice K has pitched well in big games in the past. In the World Baseball Classic in March of 2006 he had a 1.38 ERA. "I think Daisuke's considered a rookie by Major League standards, and he's definitely had a lot thrown at him for the first time, but he's not a rookie. He's a pretty established professional pitcher.” Manager Terry Francona said, “He's just had a lot thrown at him this year, that is. I mean, it is the way it is, and we're thrilled to have him, but we knew he was going to go through a lot of firsts. I mean, culturally, baseball, everything. And he's handled it very well.”
Bookmaker Current Line: Red Sox -153, Total 9.5 Flat
Vladimir Guerrero may be back in right field for Game #2 and the Angels could use the flexibility in the lineup if Guerrero is able to play the field instead of DH. Manager Mike Scioscia said he would wait until Friday to see how Guerrero is doing. "Probably I can play right field," Guerrero said, "There's no pain. It's gone. If I had any pain now, I probably wouldn't go back to the outfield."
Here are the betting statistics for Friday’s game. The Angels are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. the American League East. The Angels are 2-5 in their last 7 overall. The Angels are 2-6 in their last 8 playoff road games. The Angels are 2-6 in their last 8 road games. The Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Angels are 2-9 in their last 11 playoff games as an underdog. The Angels are 7-0 in Escobar's last 7 starts vs. the American League East. The Angels are 7-2 in Escobar's last 9 road starts. The Angels are 4-9 in the last 13 meetings between the two teams and the Angels are 1-4 in Escobar's last 5 starts vs. the Red Sox.
The Red Sox are 6-1 in their last 7 Divisional Playoff home games. The Red Sox are 5-1 in their last 6 playoff home games. The Red Sox are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite. The Red Sox are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. the American League West. The Red Sox are 7-2 in their last 9 games as a home favorite. The Red Sox are 9-3 in their last 12 playoff games. The Red Sox are 5-2 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 Divisional Playoff games. The Red Sox are 9-3 in Matsuzaka's last 12 starts as a home favorite.
The Under is 4-0 in the Angels last 4 playoff road games. The Under is 4-0 in the Angels last 4 road games. The Under is 4-1 in the Angels last 5 vs. the American League East. The Under is 6-2 in the Angels last 8 playoff games. The Under is 5-1 in Escobar's last 6 starts as a road underdog. The Under is 20-8 in Escobar's last 28 road starts.
The Under is 5-1-1 in the Red Sox last 7 playoff games. The Under is 4-1 in the Red Sox last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Under is 4-1 in the Red Sox last 5 home games. The Under is 4-1 in the Red Sox last 5 overall. The Over is 6-2-1 in the Red Sox last 9 vs. the American League West. The Over is 4-1 in Matsuzaka's last 5 starts overall. The Over is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings in Boston between the two teams.
Pick Red Sox -155 3 units out of 5