MLB Predictions: Angels vs. Red Sox Betting Odds and Picks
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 8/18/2010
The Boston Red Sox have officially begun their push for the 2010 postseason and in their way this week is a familiar regular season punching bag but also a familiar postseason foe in the Los Angeles Angels.
The Red Sox and the Angels have met in the ALDS four out of the last six years but this year if Boston is able to find its way into the playoffs it will likely have a new first round opponent. The 60-60 Angels are eight games back in the AL West and not really in the discussion for the wildcard at 13.5 games back. Boston is one of the main reasons why Los Angeles is an afterthought right now. The Red Sox are a perfect 7-0 against Los Angeles this season.
Despite the seven-game sweep of Los Angeles thus far, Boston is still facing long odds of reaching the playoffs. At 68-52 the Red Sox are 5.5 games behind Tampa Bay and New York for both the AL East and the wildcard. With six weeks left in the season 5.5 games does not seem like much but with the way the Yankees and Rays have played, the Red Sox know it must keep pace with the two top teams in the majors.
Red Sox fans have pointed to this week as the time when they will make their move. They begin a nine-game homestand, opened it with a win over Los Angeles on Tuesday and welcome back second baseman and 2008 MVP Dustin Pedroia who has been out of the lineup since June 26 (44 games).
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park.
MLB Predictions: Pitching matchup
Scott Kazmir (LHP, 8-10, 6.36 ERA) vs. John Lackey (RHP, 10-7, 4.54 ERA)
Kazmir has struggled this season as evidence by his record and ERA. Shoulder fatigue was blamed after his 13 earned run debacle at Oakland on July 10. He hit the disabled list and since returning Kazmir has strung together two solid performances, pitching 11 innings and allowing two earned runs in games against Detroit and Toronto.
Kazmir’s only start against Boston this year was like most of his early starts. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and was rocked for seven earned runs in an 11-6 loss.
Lackey has not exactly been putting together a banner year or month of that matter. In August Lackey is 0-2 with a 6.63 ERA. The Red Sox are 0-3 in his last three starts but for Lackey, facing his former opponent in Los Angeles has brought out the best in him. In two starts he is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA.
Angels vs. Red Sox Betting Odds
Boston is a big favorite at -175 with the Angels listed at +155. The total has climbed to 10. Odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.com.
Angels vs. Red Sox Betting Trends
Angels are 5-1 in their last six games vs. a right-handed starter
Angels are 2-8 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning record
Angels are 1-5 in Kazmir’s last six starts
Red Sox are 8-2 in Lackey’s last 10 home starts
Over is 5-1-1 in Kazmir’s last 7 starts overall
Angels vs. Red Sox Betting Picks and Predictions
Lackey has owned his former team but August has been a tough month for the new Boston acquisition. His sample size in August is larger and more current than just basing a prediction on his starts against Anaheim earlier in the season. Kazmir with an inflated ERA has tremendous value. He is a new pitcher since coming off the disabled list and this is a tough spot for a Boston team who is thinking series sweep. A tough game two stands in the way of that sweep and the underdog Angels are the play here.
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