Current Lines: Boston -125 /Texas +105, Total: 8.5u -130 Lines provided by VietBet.Com
The Boston Red Sox begin their quest for world title this afternoon when they face the Texas Rangers in this opening day matchup at the Ballpark in Arlington. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Expectations are through the roof for Boston after retooling its lineup this offseason with the addition of LF Carl Crawford and 1B Adrian Gonzalez. The Red Sox batting order now reads like a modern day murder’s row with players such as Dustin Pedroia, J.D. Drew, and Kevin Youkilis already in place. This team was second in the Majors in runs scored in 2010 with a total of 818, so offensive production will not be an issue.
Left hander Jon Lester will get the start for Boston in this one. He went 19-9 last year with an ERA of 3.25 in 32 starts. He led the team in strikeouts with 225 and had a WHIP of 1.20. Lester is 3-1 against the Rangers in his past five starts and gave up just seven combined earned runs in those four games.
Texas begins its defense of its 2010 American League Pennant without pitcher Cliff Lee, but it remains loaded with talent up and down the roster. Josh Hamilton is the anchor of the lineup and he is joined by Adrian Beltre, who was acquired this offseason from Boston, Ian Kinsler, and Nelson Cruz to form one of the more solid units in the league.
Another left hander, C.J. Wilson will be on the mound for Texas in the opener. He went 15-8 in his 2010 campaign with a 2.81 ERA and a WHIP of 1.25. He comes into this game with three straight wins over Boston, giving up just two earned runs in 19 2/3 innings of work.
Head-to-head, the Rangers have won two of the last three games at home and six of the last eight games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven meetings. Texas outscored the Red Sox 39-21 in those six wins.
This time around, both starters should keep the scoring in check, but stick with Rangers to come out on top in a game that stays ‘under’ the 8.5 run line.