Vegas Odds & MLB Predictions: Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox (August 22nd, 2018)
Cleveland Looks for Third Straight Win Over Boston
The Cleveland Indians have taken the first two games of their four-game series with the Boston Red Sox. They won the series opener 5-4 as their ace Corey Kluber picked up his 16th win of the season. The Indians battled back from an early 3-0 deficit on their way to the win.
On Tuesday it was Cleveland building up a 5-0 lead after the top half of the seventh inning. Boston put three runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.
Yan Gomes got the scoring started with a single in the top of the fourth and he also got an all-important insurance run with a solo shot in the eight to put Cleveland up 6-3.
Cleveland has been beating up on a slew of below average teams coming into this series. They are 19-6 in their last 25 games and clearly its helped their mojo against the best team in baseball.
Prior to this series, they had played Detroit, Minnesota, the Angels, Minnesota (again), the White Sox, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
Boston continues to be miles ahead of the pack for the best record in baseball, but in recent days they are have lost three in row. To show you how rare it is, the last time they lost even two games in a row was back on July 24-26. The last time they lost at least four times in six games came back in the middle of June.
Perhaps they are dialing it back a little in anticipation of the stretch run and the playoffs. Perhaps it is simply hard to string together the level of excellence they’ve been able to accomplish. The challenge is certainly made harder by the fact that they are missing two of their best players at the moment in Chris Sale (one start since July 27th) and Rafael Devers (out indefinitely since August 17th).
Carlos Carrasco (15-6, 3.33 ERA) has been superb in four August starts, allowing four runs (three earned) in 27.2 innings for a 0.98 ERA. The Indians are 3-1 in those games.
Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.00 ERA) has not fared well in the month of August. He’s started three games and relieved once and has a 5.79 ERA, pitching 18.2 innings. Boston however is 4-0 in those outings.
Cleveland is -116 favorites and Boston +106 underdogs. The Indians have set up their rotation beautifully for this series and a red-hot Carrasco certainly gives them the edge here. The Pick: Indians 5-2.