Starting Pitchers: Cleveland (Lowe) vs. Boston (Beckett)
Date/Time: May 10, 8:05 PM EST
Television: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds from 5Dimes
Moneyline: Boston (-147) Cleveland (+142)
For a second straight season the Cleveland Indians lead the AL Central standings in early May. The Indians hope to finish the season stronger than they did last season. Boston is struggling to find its way, and the team has lost several heartbreaking games in the last couple weeks. Josh Beckett has been the team’s stopper, and they’ll send him to the mound Thursday night.
Derek Lowe returns to face his old team at Fenway Park Thursday night. Lowe’s best years as a major leaguer were his time with the Boston Red Sox. Last year he struggled badly, but he has been very good in 2012 thus far. Lowe has an impressive 2.39 ERA. He does have a high WHIP of 1.49, so he has been pitching out of trouble quite well. Lowe already has four wins this season.
Cleveland’s offense has been pretty good this season. Asdrubal Cabrera isn’t putting up power numbers, but he still leads the team with a .337 batting average. Jason Kipnis has been on a tear of late, and he leads the team with 20 RBI’s. Carlos Santana is hitting .265, which is a huge improvement from last year’s .239 mark. The Indians have a solid young nucleus of hitters, but there are some weak spots at the bottom of the order.
Josh Beckett missed his previous start with a stiff lat muscle, but he is expected to be ready for this one. Beckett has been a little shaky so far this year. He is just 2-3 with a 4.45 ERA. He was beaten up for seven runs in his first start of the year, but he has been solid in his last four starts. Boston’s team ERA of 5.29 is second worst in the majors.
The Red Sox are missing Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford, and Jacoby Ellsbury, but they have still been putting up quite a few runs. David Ortiz is off to a red hot start, and he leads the team with a .355 average. Ortiz also has 7 homers and 23 RBI’s in 2012. Ryan Sweeney, Mike Aviles, and Cody Ross have all produced at a much higher than expected level for this offense. Adrian Gonzalez hasn’t been able to find his power stroke just yet, and the team would like to see him heat up.
The Indians are 9-3 in their last 12 road games. Cleveland is 7-1 in their last 8 road games against a team with a losing record.
Boston is 10-3 in Josh Beckett’s last 13 home starts. The Red Sox are 5-1 in Beckett’s last 6 home starts against Cleveland. They are also 12-5 in their last 17 meetings overall against the Indians.
The over is 18-7-2 in the Red Sox last 27 home games. The under is 4-0 in Lowe’s last 4 starts.
MLB Free Pick: Indians ML
I don’t like betting against Beckett at home, but there are still some questions about his health and the Red Sox are playing terrible baseball right now. I don’t think they should be laying this big of a number.