Red Sox Vs. Guardians: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (6/8/23)

It’s a classic battle between AL East and Central, as the 31-31 Red Sox (last place in the East) take on the 28-33 Guardians (second place in the Central) in an intriguing June matchup. Let’s take a look at the odds for this rubber match by the Lake, where my prediction is for a Guardians win in a game that sees under 8.5 runs.

Red Sox Vs. Guardians Prediction

After a couple of tightly contested games to open up this midweek series, one going each way, the three-game set is up for grabs. Garrett Whitlock will get the ball for the opener, as he looks to bounce back from yet another tough outing against the Rays. The Red Sox had a tough series overall against Tampa, as they lost 3 of 4 games, coming right off of the heels of a series loss to a mediocre Cincinnati team- they’re not in great form right now.

The Guardians have been playing better ball than their opponents, having taken series from the Orioles and Cardinals, as well as splitting with the division-leading twins. They dropped the first game of this series, but picked up a nice win in game 2on Wednesday.

Aaron Civale, no stranger to throwing against Boston teams as a Northeastern alum, will look to seal the series with a strong performance after having an encouraging outing against Minnesota on Friday. Those 5 shutout innings represent Civale’s first work since April 7th, and his third appearance of the year, so it would be enormous for his team if he’s able to keep up the high-level output going forward.

This is the very definition of a clash of conflicting styles. The Sox are top 5 in runs scored and OPS, while Cleveland is in third from last in both. Conversely, the Guardians are 8th in ERA, whereas the Red Sox are 25th. With a strong starter on the mound, this probably favors the Guardians, as they should have the ability to play their brand of baseball at home, so they’re my moneyline pick. As such, I like the under with Civale on the bump, and I even think Whitlock has the ability to bounce back a bit against Cleveland’s mediocre lineup.

Red Sox Vs. Guardians Prediction: Guardians ML (-125), u8.5 (-115)

Red Sox Vs. Guardians Odds

The Guardians are -125 home favorites while the visiting Sox are +105. For a run total of 8.5, the over is -105 and the under is -115.

Red Sox Vs. Guardians Key Matchups

Garrett Whitlock Vs. Power Lefties

To start the season, righties are crushing Whitlock slightly more than lefties, who are also crushing Whitlock. In short, been a tough few weeks overall for the Sox righty, who has had a more traditional platoon split across his career- lefties have more success against him.

Luckily for the Guardians, arguably their only two competent hitters are both left-handers, or at least will be against Whitlock. One is Josh Naylor, who has more or less continued the pace from his breakout 2022. His OPS is at a very similar level, and he leads the team with 8 homers despite missing a few games so far.

The other is José Ramírez, who is a switch hitter and will presumably bat left-handed against Whitlock. He isn’t up to his usual MVP-contender standard, but he still leads the team in OPS, and all of baseball in intentional walks, so there’s a solid indication of how feared he still is, especially amidst an underwhelming lineup. It’s been a tough year so far for these hitters and more in the Cleveland lineup, but they still have the ability to light a spark when needed.

Aaron Civale Vs. Men On Base

The Red Sox are an interesting offense in today’s era of “true outcome” baseball. They’re third in the league in OBP, but only 18th in home runs. Seeing this trend play out will be interesting as they take on Civale, who is very sharp but not a huge strikeout guy. He will need to be careful with Boston’s good contact bats- I believe he can, which is the biggest reason I have the Guardians hitting the -125 moneyline in my Red Sox vs. Guardians prediction.

The team leader in OBP, albeit in relatively limited time thus far, is Rob Refsnyder, who is way above his career average with a mark beyond .400 for the season. Rookie sensation Masataka Yoshida is next in line, he’s shown no growing pains in his first season since coming over from Japan as he’s the team leader with a batting average north of .300.

In the heart of the Sox lineup are two former Dodger bats, Alex Verdugo and Justin Turner. Both are having a really nice start to the year at the dish with OBPs in the mid-300s, and Verdugo has also amassed nearly 2.5 WAR already. Jarren Duran continues to improve in year 3, as he has also been a solid contributor in the on-base department. The Sox have the ability to get men on base and score runs, but Civale is quite a tough opponent against which to do it.

Red Sox Vs. Guardians Starting Lineups

Red Sox Starting Lineup

LF R. Refsnyder R
RF A. Verdugo L
1B J. Turner R
3B R. Devers L
DH M. Yoshida L
SS E. Hernandez R
CF J. Duran L
C C. Wong R
2B C. Arroyo R

Guardians Starting Lineup

LF S. Kwan L
SS T. Freeman R
3B J. Ramirez S
DH J. Naylor L
2B A. Gimenez L
1B G. Arias R
RF W. Brennan L
CF M. Straw R
C M. Zunino R

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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