The Boston Red Sox are about to face arguably the best starting pitcher they’ve seen all season.
You can have Tyler Glasnow and Jose Berrios — Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito (1-0, 2.55 ERA) is a blossoming superstar on the mound. The 26-year-old right hander opposes Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.08 ERA) Monday at Fenway Park in a game that should be an incredible pitcher’s duel.
The Sox have a tough test as they aim to earn a series split with the South Siders.
Giolito has only allowed five runs in three starts and he’s finally throwing three pitches for consistent strikes. New White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz has really helped the development of Giolito’s changeup. The duo tweaked his delivery in spring training, creating more deception in the arm action and more confidence in the pitch.
Giolito’s fastball-changeup combo should keep the Red Sox bats off balance.
And then there’s Eovaldi, who takes the ball every fifth day and pounds the zone with strikes. His stuff plays well at Fenway and the White Sox have a bunch of free swingers up and down the lineup. Fastball command will be everything for Eovaldi and as long as he avoids the long ball, he’ll be just fine.
Chicago is a small road favorite at the betting window, but I’m much more interested in the total.
The market opened O/U 8 -110, which is the lowest opening nine-inning total of the entire Red Sox season. The average Boston total has been around 9, but we’ve also seen plenty of 9.5s and 10s. That oddsmakers opened 8 and the market is already trending downward tells you everything you need to know — the bookmakers and bettors respect these two starters.
“Under” 8 runs is a very decent play in my book and I also like “Under” 4 runs in the first five innings quite a bit. First fives are a way to remove the bullpens from the equation and essentially bet on the starting pitchers. This game has all the makings of 2-1 after five and 4-2 after nine.
Boston’s games have quieted down a bit after a torrid stretch of seven straight “Overs” after the opening series with Baltimore. The Sox are 5-2 to the “Under” in their last seven games and I expect another low-scoring affair on Patriots’ Day.
CHW/BOS Under 8 -110
CHW/BOS F5 Under 4 +100
RECORD: (29-21, +6.2)