It took until 3 p.m. ET, but we finally have a betting line on Friday night’s baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Reliever Kyle Zimmer gets the ball for K.C. in what appears to be an irregular “opener” spot for the 29-year-old. Zimmer has appeared in 22 games this season, but this is his first start.
Bookmakers simply cannot open a single-game baseball market without both starting pitchers listed, so they waited for the official announcement, then opened up the betting. The first sportsbook to hang a line posted Boston as a -160 favorite with ol’ reliable Nick Pivetta on the hill.
According to StatFox, Pivetta has one of the most profitable starting pitchers this season. The Red Sox have won 10 of Pivetta’s 13 outings and a $100 bettor would be up $760 by blindly betting on Boston in each one. Only seven starters have been more cost effective at the window.
Most profitable MLB starters
Tyler Mahle (11-3) +8.6
Taijuan Walker (10-2) +8.6
Chris Flexen (9-3) +8.5
Aaron Civale (11-3) +8.5
Sean Manaea (11-3) +8.3
Chris Bassitt (11-3) +7.9
Anthony Desclafani (10-4) +7.8
Nick Pivetta (10-3) +7.6
Jack Flaherty (9-2) +7.3
Kevin Gausman (10-4) +5.9
For context purposes, NL Cy Young frontrunner Jacob deGrom hasn’t made you money. The New York Mets are 8-3 when deGrom starts, but you’re only up +0.9 units. That’s because deGrom is such a massive favorite almost every time he takes the ball. When New York loses a game at -230 or -270 with deGrom on the hill, there’s very little margin for error to blindly bet him.
Pivetta is usually around the -130 to -140 range so the betting juice is decidedly lower and the damage isn’t as bad when the Red Sox drop one of his starts. Always remember: juice kills.
The most interesting movement involves the total. Oddsmakers opened at O/U 9.5o-120 and the “Over” was immediately blasted up to 10 and even 10.5 depending on where you shop. A run total doesn’t usually move a full run in 40 minutes, but here we are.
Boston has scored 20 runs in its last two games and six of the last eight have gone “Over.”
“Predict the Game” returns to NESN on Friday night. Our first question goes live at 7:30 p.m. ET on “Red Sox GameDay LIVE,” and throughout the night, you’ll see predictive baseball questions to answer on our broadcast. The participant who scores the most points during the Red Sox-Royals game will win an autographed Jim Rice jersey.
Head over to NESN.com/PredictTheGame to create your account now.
It’s free to play and free to win!