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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM

Friday's Best Bet

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Friday MLB Betting Preview (10:10 p.m. ET)
Boston Red Sox at San Diego Padres

To follow up sweeping away the Orioles last weekend with getting swept at home in a two-game set against the Phillies was bad for a Boston Red Sox team that's showing more and more signs of folding up shop for the 2019 season. Sitting 15 games behind the Yankees for the AL East lead, and 7 games behind the final Wildcard spot in the AL, the writing is starting to be much clearer on the wall for Boston these days. They shut down struggling starter Chris Sale for the year, and that's about as close to a white flag as it can get for a team in late-August.

The Red Sox made the cross-country flight yesterday to San Diego for this three-game set with the Padres and old friend, former Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo. Orsillo didn't leave the club on the best of terms back in 2015, but it's always nice to see familiar faces, and you know he'd love to see his new team in the Padres take advantage of a potentially disinterested Boston side. Will San Diego do it?

MLB Odds: Boston (-115) vs San Diego (+105); Total set at 8

The Padres are sending Chris Paddack to the hill tonight, and he was someone that brought the Padres and their backers plenty of success earlier in the year. But things have started to catch up to this rookie lately, as the Padres are just 3-3 SU in his six starts since returning from the All-Star break, and there was a clear divide in the caliber of teams Paddack and the Padres beat as opposed to the ones that beat them during that span.

San Diego's three wins in Paddack outings the past month or so have come on the road against Miami, and at home against Baltimore and Colorado. Not one of those teams is currently better than being 12 games below the .500 mark, and Miami and Baltimore are battling to not finish the year with records 40 games or worse below the .500 mark. Needless to say, those were some rather beatable opponents for Paddack and the Padres, and even if Boston is a disinterested bunch tonight, they just don't compare.

Conversely, the three teams that beat Paddack and the Padres since the All-Star break have been the Mets, Dodgers, and Phillies, all of which were road games for San Diego as well. Now, Paddack doesn't have to be out there in hostile territory tonight which should help, but the overall quality and talent level on Boston is much more comparable to those three teams wouldn't you say. Paddack never lasted more than five full innings in any one of those starts, as the Dodgers Phillies and Mets all knocked him around early, and considering he's allowed at least one HR in five of his six starts since the All-Star break, good teams just seem to make too good of contact against him right now. Paddack's .229 BABIP also suggests he's still been very lucky in terms of getting outs when he probably shouldn't on balls put into play, as these struggling numbers against quality teams aren't likely to improve any time soon.

Which suggests that even with Boston potentially being in the beginning stages of “who cares” mode, and having Eduardo Rodriguez on the hill who's got his fair share of detractors in general, this price does seem a bit short on the Red Sox today, pending them being interested and playing at or near what they are capable of.

Rodriguez is a guy that has detractors for sure, but in a year where nothing has really gone Boston's way overall, the fact that Rodriguez has a 14-5 SU record and the Sox are 19-7 SU in his 26 starts this year is rather odd. The marketplace wants to continually go against this guy – his 4.10 ERA and 7 runs/game in support are reasons behind that mentality – but he continues to win. Rodriguez has allowed more hits than he's got innings pitched in his last three starts, but Boston still won two of those and they lost in walk-off fashion in the other outing. It's not like the Padres have much to play for the rest of the year either – other then 'growing' into a winning team – and Paddack is arguably just as fadeable, if not more then Rodriguez is at this point.

So give me this Red Sox team that's owned interleague play for years ( 44-17 SU in last 61 interleague games), and that includes an 11-0 SU run going with Rodriguez on the hill in interleague play. Boston is also 14-3 SU the last 17 times Rodriguez has opened up a new series, 40-12 SU in his last 52 starts overall – another overlooked reason in the fade Rodriguez narrative – and that includes a 19-7 SU run on the road. San Diego has dropped four of their last 14 series openers as it is, are 1-4 SU in Paddack's last five against a winning team, and 1-5 SU after getting a day off.

It might be nice for Don Orsillo to see some familiar faces from Boston, but those same faces aren't going to cut his current team any slack tonight.

Best Bet: Boston ML

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