That might be the greatest headline of all-time for the biggest primadonna of all-time, and it couldn't have happened to a more deserving team. Once upon a
time, long, long ago, Alex Rodriguez was a great baseball player. For the Yankees, he was only pretty good. Yes, A-Rod hit .284 with 351 homers and 1,094
RBIs. He also helped the Evil Empire win their 27th pennant in 2009. He took home AL MVP honors in 2005 and 2007, raising his total to three.
However, when A-Rod's name gets brought up, none of that is remembered. He will be remembered for PED's and the season-long suspension in 2014. A-Rod has
always been Public Enemy No. 1 in opposing ballparks, and that is a credit to how he conducts himself on and off the field. Joe Girardi said it best in one
if his recent press conferences, "Farewell tours are not in my job description". Thank god Joe, because I don't think a David Ortiz-like retirement fits
the bill for A-Rod.
For the most part this season, you could always count on the Boston Red Sox offense to come through in the clutch and put up a crooked number in a hurry. That was the case on Tuesday, where a three-run fifth inning flipped the script on what was looking like a losing bet. Kudos to Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Unfortunately, the celebration was short lived as the Arizona Diamondbacks couldn't muster their second run until the sixth inning. Apparently Steve Matz remembered how to somewhat pitch, which is the exact opposite of how he's been performing lately.
I know most bettors are looking forward to the start of the NFL season and some maybe even the preseason. MLB games will begin to get overlooked. Don't give up on me or the MLB just yet, however.
Thursday is a top-heavy day in the majors with six games set to happen before 3:30 p.m. The game that sticks out most to me is the Baltimore/Oakland game. The A's are going for a sweep of the O's and would do the Blue Jays a huge favor by doing so. Fortunately for Baltimore, they send their ace, Chris Tillman, to the mound to try and stop the bleeding. The nightcap features five games that are very intriguing in their own right. Cleveland is looking to stay atop the AL Central, Boston is looking to keep pace with the Jays in the AL East, the Cubs are looking for 10 consecutive wins and Houston is trying to keep pace in the wild-card race.
These props are based on the First 5 Inning lines, and I have the utmost confidence in what I expect to happen. As always, odds and lines are courtesy of 5dimes.
New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
No matter the time of year, or the position of either of these teams in the standings, Yankees vs. Red Sox always brings out the best in these two teams. Last night was a great example. Down 4-1 in the sixth, and seemingly en route to another loss, the Yankees strapped on their hitting boots and took the lead with a five-run frame. They never looked back and beat their rival by a 9-4 score. To add insult to injury, Boston not only lost the game, but they lost David Ortiz after Big Papi fouled a ball of his shin in the ninth inning.
The good news for Boston is that they get to go up against Michael Pineda in tonight's ball game. Pineda has been all over the place this season, positing a 6-10 record with an ERA just a shade over 5.15. In six career starts at Fenway, he is 3-3 with a 4.20 ERA. He also hates pitching against the Red Sox in general (4-5, 4.92 in 10 starts). The Red Sox lineup seems to hit Pineda well, with Mookie Betts going 6-for-20 with two homers and four RBIs, and David Ortiz, who should be in the lineup, going 5-for-22 with a homer and two RBIs.
The Red Sox are averaging 5.7 runs per contest in their last five games and hit much better at home than on the road. I expect them to get their fair share of runs tonight.
On the other side of the coin, the Yankees will come up against Eduardo Rodriguez, who boasts a 2-5 record with a 5.93 ERA. He will be taking the place of Steven Wright, who in on the DL. In his career, Rodriguez has fared relatively well against the Yankees to the tune of 4-1, 2.01. However, I think this is a much different situation than previous outings, and I expect him to get hit hard.
The Yankees lineup has hit Rodriguez well. Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-14 with two home runs and two RBIs against the southpaw, while Brett Gardner is 3-for-10 and A-Rod is 5-for-13 with three RBIs. The Yankees have averaged more than five runs per game over their last 10 games and have been hitting the ball well lately.
I expect runs a plenty tonight at Fenway, and I will be taking the "over" for the First 5 and full game.
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