The Boston Red Sox will receive a brief break from their current 15-game stretch against American League East rivals when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday as -145 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Thursday afternoon’s Pirates vs. Red Sox betting matchup at Fenway Park makes up for an April 6 contest that was postponed due to rain. The Red Sox opened the campaign with a pair of wins over Pittsburgh, including a 3-0 victory as -161 favorites on April 5, and own a 4-1 record in five all-time home dates with the Pirates.
However, the Red Sox have turned in mixed results since the Pirates left town, dropping four of six, including a 12-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles as -148 favorites Wednesday to fall 1 1/2 games back of the first-place O’s in the AL East standings.
Wednesday’s loss also ended a two-game stretch during which the Red Sox surrendered just three total runs after allowing 15 total runs over their previous three contests and extended the woes of the club’s rotation, which has compiled a combined 2-3 record over eight starts.
The 3-5 Pirates return to Boston after getting swept by Cincinnati in a three-game home series, capped by Wednesday’s 9-2 loss as -153 favorites. The Pirates now trail the National League Central-leading Reds by 3 1/2 games. Pittsburgh was outscored by an 8-3 margin in its two games last week at Fenway.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to get the start Thursday afternoon for Boston, while the Pirates send Chad Kuhl to the hill in search of his second win of the season.
Rodriguez allowed four earned runs over five innings and took the decision in last Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Detroit and will be facing the Pirates for the first time in his career. Kuhl threw five innings of three-hit ball in Pittsburgh’s 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves as -147 chalk last weekend and posted a 5-4 record in 14 starts as a rookie last season.
Following Thursday’s contest, the Red Sox welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to town for a four-game set over the holiday weekend before hitting the road for three games each in Toronto and Baltimore.
The 5-4 Rays sit a half-game up on Boston in the AL East standings but are winless in two road games this season, including Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees as +116 underdogs. With one win through eight games, the Blue Jays are enduring their worst start in franchise history and are 4-7 in their past 11 against Boston at Rogers Centre according to the OddsShark MLB Database.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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