Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
The Boston Red Sox are -150 favorites when they travel to Cleveland to face the Indians this evening.Â The over/under for the game is set at 9 runs.
The 2011 season may only have one weekend in the books, but that hasn’t stopped Boston Red Sox fans from voicing their disapproval. Boston was swept three straight in Texas by the defending AL champions and will now look for win number one in Cleveland. Boston’s winless start is magnified by the fact the club entered 2011 as the favorites to win the AL East. General Manager Theo Epstein spent the winter beefing up the Red Sox roster with the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, adding pop to a lineup that finished second in the majors with 5.05 runs per game in 2010. Gonzalez is off to a decent start with Boston, collecting five hits in his first 12 at bats.Â Crawford was held to just a pair of singles in 12 trips to the plate in the Texas series, striking out five times.Â Collectively, the Red Sox were outscored 26-11 by the Rangers who hammered 11 homers in the broom job.Â Texas’ Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both went deep three times to set an MLB record as the only teammates to homer in each of the first three games of a season. Manager Terry Francona shouldn’t be too worried about his bats just yet.Â Pitching, however, is another story. The top three in Boston’s rotation Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey were charged with 18 earned runs in just over 15 innings combined, serving up nine of the 11 Texas dingers.Â Francona will now turn to Josh Beckett to stem the tide. Beckett is coming off an injury-marred 2010 campaign, posting a 5.78 ERA with a 6-6 mark in 21 starts.Â The Red SoxÂ are 5-2 in Beckett’sÂ last seven assignments versus the Indians, including theÂ 2007 playoffs whichÂ marked his last appearance at Progressive Field.Â Beckett worked two games in Cleveland that season, including the ALCS, pitching eight innings and allowing just one run in each contest.
Cleveland didn’t fare much better in its first three games of 2011, though the Indians did manage to avoid being swept to begin the year with Sunday’s 7-1 win over the White Sox.Â The victory was aided by the first triple play of the MLB campaign, and Indians starter Justin Masterson kept Chicago hitters at bay for seven innings after they pummeled Cleveland hurlers for 23 runs in the first two games of the series. Manager Manny Acta will give the ball to Josh Tomlin for Tuesday’s series opener.Â Cleveland went 7-5 in the 12 starting assignments he made as a rookie in 2010.Â One of the losses came at Fenway Park in his only career action against the Red Sox.Â The right-hander out of Texas Tech worked seven innings and allowed four runs, all earned, in a 7-2Â Boston triumph.
I look for the Boston Red Sox to get there first win tonight.Â I expect Josh Beckett to pitch well enough and for the Red Sox bats to explode on Tomlin.Â Take the Red Sox and lay the -150.
Boston Red Sox -150 over Cleveland Indians