It’s the battle of Fort Myers on Saturday afternoon between the Red Sox and Twins! Huh, you say? Those two franchises have their spring training camps in that Florida city on the gulf coast. Boston is coming off a series against the Baltimore Orioles, which ended 2-2. For Minnesota, they just ended a series against the Oakland A’s a 2-1. This is the first time these two teams meet in the 2017 regular season. It’s game two of a three-game set from Minneapolis on Saturday and the Red Sox will be MLB betting favorites.
Boston at Minnesota MLB Betting Preview & Prediction
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 5, 2017
When: Saturday, May 6, 2:10 PM ET
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Probable pitchers (away/home): Rick Porcello/Nick Tepesch
TV: MLB Network
Radio: Boston / Minnesota
Opening MLB Lines: Red Sox favored by TBA
Why Bet On Boston?
The Red Sox are thin in their pitching staff with yet another injury. Knuckleballer Steven Wright will undergo left knee surgery and miss the rest of the season. He suffered a knee sprain in last Saturday’s start against the Cubs. Wright has struggled in five starts this season, going 1-3 with an 8.25 ERA and giving up at least four runs in all but one start. Against the Cubs, Wright gave up five runs on seven hits and pitched into the seventh inning. The veteran allowed 22 earned runs in 24 innings (five starts) this season for Boston. Last season, Wright was 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts and was selected to pitch in the All-Star Game.
Thus the Sox could really use ace David Price back. Price (elbow) sat between 93-95 mph with his fastball during Thursday’s three-inning simulated game at Fenway Park. Price told team president Dave Dombrowski he felt “really good” on Thursday. The plan is for Price to throw three more simulated games, building up from four innings to six in his final outing. At that point, Price would likely return to the Red Sox’s starting rotation. If he can avoid setbacks, Price should make his season debut in late May.
The Sox are also short in the infield as the team placed 3B Marco Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder subluxation. Hernandez suffered the shoulder injury Wednesday while trying to field a ball in the first inning. He joins fellow third basemen Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt on Boston’s disabled list.
It’s 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello on the mound. Porcello (1-4, 4.46) allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven over six innings in Monday’s 5-2 loss to Baltimore. Boston’s offense failed to score a run while Porcello was on the mound for the fourth straight time and has scored eight runs total in his six starts. He hasn’t pitched like a Cy Young Award winner to start 2017, but he’s deserved better support. The lack of offense stands in contrast to his Cy Young 2016 season when Porcello led the majors in run support (7.6 over 33 starts).
Why Bet On Minnesota?
Keep an eye on the status of Twins outfielder Byron Buxton here. The former No. 1 overall prospect was pulled from Thursday’s game against the A’s after crashing into the outfield wall. Buxton had multiple run-ins with the wall before his exit in the sixth inning. A serious injury would be terrible timing for the 23-year- old center fielder, who was just starting to get it going offensively. Buxton passed his initial concussion tests. The Twins are first in baseball in defensive efficiency (.728). They have committed just eight errors on the season, tied with Kansas City and Miami for the fewest in baseball.
The Twins also made a pitching move on Thursday. Kyle Gibson was pulled after giving up four runs in four innings in a loss to the A’s. Gibson is 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA. He hasn’t lasted six innings in any of his six starts. So Gibson was sent to Triple-A. It’s unclear who will occupy his spot in the starting rotation, though Adalberto Mejia and top prospect Jose Berrios are both possibilities.
Eddie Rosario enters the weekend with a 14-game hitting streak (career-long). It marks the longest for a Twin this season; marks longest for a Twin since Brian Dozier hit in 24 straight from August 27-September 22, 2016.
It’s Nick Tepesch on the mound here. He made just one MLB start last year with the Dodgers and missed all of 2015. He spent the two seasons before that with Texas. Tepesch had a 4.68 ERA in 43 appearances (40 starts) seasons with the Rangers before he was sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome. The journeyman right-hander had spun a 2.00 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Rochester so far this season.
Boston at Minnesota MLB Betting Pick: Boston Red Sox
For once, the Red Sox should score some runs for Porcello, who has pitched solidly of late.