Red Sox Odds: Will Chris Sale Strike Out Eight Or More Texas Rangers?

Sale's K prop is O/U 7.5 at DraftKings

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All eyes will be on Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale on Friday night as the southpaw tries to silence the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park.

Sale was solid in his first outing of 2021 with eight strikeouts and no walks against the lowly Baltimore Orioles. He gave up six hits and solo homers to Austin Hays and Trey Mancini before manager Alex Cora went to the bullpen after five frames.

Sale’s strikeout prop last Saturday was Over/Under 6.5 Ks at almost every single American sportsbook. And what do you know, oddsmakers have tacked on a full punchy for Friday’s start against Texas. DraftKings Sportsbook is dealing Sale’s number at O/U 7.5 with -115 juice each way.

“Control will be the key for Sale these next few starts,” one professional bettor told NESN. “His velocity was down a bit and he only threw 89 pitches, but it’s the lack of wasted ones that got him over the number. That guy will always have a chance when he keeps his walks down because his stuff is so good. He’ll get swings and misses no matter what.”

Texas is middle-of-the-pack in baseball with 1,047 strikeouts (T-18th), but former Ranger Joey Gallo accounted for 125 of those. Sheesh. Gallo brought his big, loopy swing to the New York Yankees via a deadline trade and Texas has erased 1.3 strikeouts per game with him out of the equation.

Rangers strikeouts this month
8 vs. SEA – Aug. 19
6 vs. SEA – Aug. 18
8 vs. SEA – Aug. 17
7 vs. OAK – Aug. 15
1 vs. OAK – Aug. 14
4 vs. OAK – Aug. 13
7 at SEA – Aug. 12
8 at SEA – Aug. 11
7 at SEA – Aug. 10
8 at OAK – Aug. 8
5 at OAK – Aug. 7
13 at OAK – Aug. 6 (Chris Bassit 8 Ks)
10 vs. LAA – Aug. 5 (Dylan Bundy 6 Ks)
10 vs. LAA – Aug. 4 (Shohei Ohtani 6 Ks)
9 vs. LAA – Aug. 3 (José Suarez 6 Ks)
8 vs. LAA – Aug. 2
5 vs. SEA – Aug. 1

Those are also full-game strikeouts, not just against a starting pitcher. Texas has done a much better job in the post-Gallo era of choking up and putting the ball in play. Obviously, Sale is better than most pitchers in baseball at striking guys out, but I’ve got my concerns about his pitch count and a potential early exit if Boston goes up big.

I’ll root for Sale to go “Over” 7.5 strikeouts, but I certainly lean “Under” given the facts.

“Predict the Game” returns to NESN on Friday night. Our first question goes live at 6:30 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 Sox-Rangers game will win an autographed Xander Bogaerts jersey.

Head over to NESN.com/PredictTheGame to create your account now.

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