The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers close down their three-game set at Comerica Park in Detroit this Thursday afternoon with the first pitch at 1:10 PM ET. This is also the ultimate clash of the season between the Sawx and Tigers, as Boston won a three-game home set against Detroit back in May.
The Red Sox opened as -120 road favorites for Thursday’s closer. Detroit is listed as a +110 dog with a total of 10.0 runs on Betus Sportsbook, so let’s see what’s the best Red Sox vs. Tigers betting pick.
The Sawx were riding a five-game losing streak on Wednesday
The Boston Red Sox fell to 63-45 on the season following a 4-2 defeat at the Tigers in the opening game of this set last Tuesday. It was Boston’s fifth loss on the spin, as the Red Sox lost their pole position in the American League East, trailing one game behind the new leaders, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Sawx have struggled mightily at the plate during their losing streak, scoring just 13 runs in the process and posting a disappointing .230/.290/.326. Boston desperately needs more from its offense, as the Red Sox have recorded the 12th-worst OPS in the majors since the All-Star break (.731).
The Red Sox need more from their pitching staff, too. They’ve registered a pedestrian 4.82 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over the last 17 games, excluding Wednesday’s middle contest of the Tigers series. Martin Perez will toe the rubber Thursday, and he’s 7-7 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 21 starts this season.
Perez has been awful over his last four outings (17.2 frames of work), allowing 15 earned runs on 24 hits and six walks. The 30-year-old lefty met the Tigers in May and yielded three runs (two earned) across 5.2 frames in a no-decision.
The Tigers continue with their strong second-half performance
The Detroit Tigers have been terrific since the All-Star break, slashing .272/.331/.464 and posting the fifth-best OPS in the majors. Also, their pitching staff has registered the seventh-lowest ERA in the second half of the season (3.63).
The Tigers improved to 52-57 on the season with that 4-2 victory over the Red Sox this past Tuesday. It was their fifth win in the last seven games overall and 12th in 18 outings since July 16.
Tarik Skubal will take the hill Thursday against Boston, and the 24-year-old left-hander is 6-10 with a 4.53 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 19 starts and a couple of relief appearances in 2021. He went 2-3 through five starts in July, allowing 18 earned runs on 30 hits and three walks across 27.2 innings of work. Skubal has never met the Red Sox before.
- 4-1 in the last five road contests against the Tigers
- 2-7 in the last nine games against the Red Sox
Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Detroit will have to slow down eventually. Despite their excellent recent form, the Tigers are still below the league average in runs per game (4.41) and OPS (.710). Also, their bullpen owns the fifth-highest ERA in baseball (4.95) while sporting a 3.25 ERA and 4.46 FIP over the last two weeks.
On the other side, the Red Sox have to break out of their funk as soon as possible, especially their offense that’s averaging 4.93 runs per game on a .256/.320/437 triple-slash. I’m expecting Boston’s bats to make the difference, as the Red Sox’s pitching has been a problem all season long.
Pick: Take Boston Red Sox at -120
The Red Sox own the sixth-highest scoring offense in baseball while surrendering 4.50 runs per game (15th in the MLB). However, they’ve scored more than four runs only once in their last seven outings.
I’m backing the over on the totals, hoping the Red Sox will find their groove at the dish. On the other side, the Tigers will try to maintain their good form on the mound, but I don’t think they’ll have enough firepower in their bullpen. Also, both Tarik Skubal and Martin Perez have struggled as of late, so taking the over seems like a nice bet.
Pick: Go over 10.0 runs at +105