Boston at Cleveland ALDS Game 2 Expert Pick
Stellar matchup in Game 2 of the AL Division Series on Friday afternoon in Cleveland as Boston throws former Cy Young winner David Price against Cleveland’s former Cy Young winner in Corey Kluber. It’s not impossible that Kluber wins a second award this winter when announced, but he’s more likely to finish second behind Boston’s Rick Porcello, who started Game 1 of this series on Thursday night. The Tribe are likely to be slight favorites for this game on MLB odds but much will depend on Game 1.
How to Bet on the Boston at Cleveland ALDS Game 2 Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Friday, Oct. 7, 4:30 PM ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
Probable pitchers (away/home): David Price/Corey Kluber
Radio: Boston / Cleveland
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Boston?
The Red Sox are AL champs and have easily the best offense in baseball. The Red Sox seem to have finally sorted out their bullpen issues and won the most games in the AL in the second half (44), though Cleveland won the second-most (42) in the league. Boston also won four of six meetings during the regular season.
This is Boston’s 4th trip to Cleveland since last October, having finished the 2015 regular season and opened the 2016 campaign here. The Red Sox also returned on 8/15/16 for a makeup of the game that was postponed on 4/7 due to inclement weather. The Indians swept the Sox in the 1995 ALDS and defeated them in the 1998 ALDS, 3-1, but Boston has won each of the last 2 postseason series between these teams. The Sox won the 1999 ALDS after losing the series’ first 2 games, then won the 2007 ALCS despite falling into a 3-1 hole.
Price (17-9, 3.99) was anointed as Boston’s staff ace when he signed a seven-year, $217 million contract as a free agent during the offseason. But it was Porcello that established himself as the team’s most consistent arm, with a 3.15 ERA and leading the majors with 22 wins. After a 7-1 start to the season, Price went through some growing pains which included him again working to fix a hitch in his delivery. He finally caught a grove, and had a stretch beginning in mid-August that saw him win seven straight starts. Price allowed one run and four hits, walking three and striking out four in five innings in the regular-season finale against Toronto.
Price is just 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 outings (eight starts) during his postseason career. The long ball has really come back to hurt him in the last couple of postseasons, with Price allowing seven homers in his last six playoff appearances. He’s allowed five or more runs in three of his last five playoff starts, which includes a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox in the 2013 ALDS where he allowed a pair of towering home runs to David Ortiz. Indians DH Carlos Santana has had the most success against Price, going 10-for- 31 (.323) with four doubles while drawing six walks.
Why Bet on Cleveland?
The Indians have made the postseason 11 times dating back to their most recent championship in 1948. Of those 11 October runs, this is the seventh to involve a confrontation with the Red Sox.
Cleveland was the best baserunning team in the AL this season. Not only did they lead the league in steals (134), but they led in stolen base percentage (81 percent), and in extra bases taken both on hits (going first to third and second to home on singles, and first to home on doubles) and otherwise (on passed balls, wild pitches, fly balls, balks and defensive indifference).
Kluber (18-9, 3.14) had been dealing with a strained right quad that he suffered in his last start back on Sept. 26, which is the reason he didn't get the ball Game 1. Cleveland’s ace had mixed results in his two starts against Boston early in the regular season, allowing four earned runs over 5.1 innings in their opening day loss (also against Price) before tossing seven innings of two-run ball in a 4-2 Indians win at Fenway Park on May 20. He’s made eight career starts against Boston (and nine total appearances), going 2-3 with a 4.78 ERA — his second-highest career ERA against an AL opponent (Kluber has a 5.34 ERA in five starts against Toronto).
Mookie Betts has hit .400 (4-for- 10) with a homer and a double in his career against Kluber. Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz are a combined 6-for- 32 (.188) against Kluber
My Expert Prediction
Is Kluber healthy? Not sure of that so go with Boston on MLB odds. The Red Sox went 46-35 (.568) on the road in 2016, the highest win percentage in the AL and the 3rd-highest in MLB.