BOSTON RED SOX (70-43, +6.5 Units)
at MINNESOTA TWINS (51-63, -3.3 Units)
First pitch: Monday, 7:10 p.m. EDT
Line: Boston -125, Minnesota +115, Total: 9
Tim Wakefield and Jim Thome enter Monday night’s Red Sox-Twins series opener in Minnesota searching for their own individual milestones. Wakefield is one win shy of 200 and Thome is two home runs shy of 600 for his career. Wakefield would be just the 108th pitcher all-time to reach 200 wins, and Thome would be the seventh player to join the 600 home run club. Baseball scores.
Boston has been terrific this year on the road going 33-21 (+8.3 Units) and even better as a road favorite of -125 to -150 (13-5). The Sox love to string wins together where they are 48-22 (+15.2 Units) after a win and beat who they are suppose to beat, with a 31-22 mark against teams with a losing record. Minnesota has had a disappointing year to say the least and had been subpar at home (26-28, -3.5 Units). The Twins, who are riding a four-game losing skid, haven’t bounced back after losses very well, going 23-38 and 7-16 after three consecutive defeats. The Sox are 5-1 in Wakefield’s past six starts and BOSTON will make this a memorable night for Wakefield, getting his 200th win and defeating the lesser Twins, who have dropped seven of their past eight games.
Two more highly-rated FoxSheets trends favoring the Red Sox are:
BOSTON is 21-6 (77.8%, +15.4 Units) against the money line in road games after having won 4 or 5 of their last 6 games this season. The average score was BOSTON 5.5, OPPONENT 2.7 – (Rating = 3*). Baseball spreads.
BOSTON is 48-22 (68.6%, +17.9 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .260 or worse this season. The average score was BOSTON 5.4, OPPONENT 4.2 – (Rating = 2*).
The Sox are coming off a ninth inning comeback off Mariano Rivera and a walk-off hit by the young outfielder Josh Reddick (.338 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI). Boston scratched out two of three from the rival Yankees and look for Tim Wakefield (6-4, 4.99 ERA) to keep the ball rolling. Wakefield has had an up-and-down year in the rotation, with a 5.03 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 15 starts. Wakefield pitched decent his last outing, allowing three runs in 6.2 while striking out six Indians. The Red Sox won the game, but Wakefield received a no-decision. He is 14-7 with a 4.54 ERA all-time versus the Twins, but has been shelled in his past two outings against them (9.2 IP, 19 H, 14 R, 11 ER). Dustin Pedroia (.310 BA, 15 HR, 60 RBI) is excited about playing at Target Field, where he is 6-for-12 with two doubles and a homer. Since the All-Star break, Pedroia is batting an even .400 (40-for-100) with four homers, 16 RBI and a .610 slugging percentage.
Minnesota sends Scott Baker to the mound who has been one of the only bright spots for the team. Baker is only 8-6 on the year, but has a nice 3.01 ERA. Baker has been tremendous at home, winning five straight games at Target Field, and allowing just one earned run in those five starts. Baker’s last outing against the Sox on May 6, went very well, as he got the win, allowing two earned runs in eight innings. That is his only career win versus Boston, as he sports a 3.77 ERA and .287 opponents’ BA in 28.2 innings against the Red Sox. Baseball lines.