OVER 8 Tampa Bay/Boston –105 (Risk 4.2 units to win 4 units) 1:05 P.M. EST
I know two great pitchers are squaring off in this one, but James Shields has always had trouble keeping this Red Sox team down, and Jon Lester has actually had his struggles this year at home. Lester is 3-4 with a 3.93 ERA at home this season. Lester has not won a home start since May 20th vs the Chicago Cubs! I know, absolutely hard to imagine. Shields is 6-10 in his career vs Boston, and while his ERA is 2.80 his season, his road ERA is a relatively fat 3.66. The biggest reason I love this over is simply the fact that the Sox hit terribly in their past 2 losses in Seattle, and I expect much better today at Fenway—a place where they always crush the ball. Shields threw a complete game shutout in his last outing in a 4-0 win over Kansas City, but he threw 117 pitches. Shields has not responded well in starts followed by outings in which he throws 115+ pitches. Both of these teams really work starting pitchers to get into the opposition’s bullpens, and I expect that to happen today. And when the Tampa Bay bullpen comes in at Fenway—eeeeh. I feel strongly about this over play so win 4 units with some nice value on this over.