With just over 40 games left per squad, everyone is playing for something different at this point in the season. The Boston Red Sox, three games out of a Wild Card spot, are fighting hard to stay in the playoff race, while the Detroit Tigers, all but eliminated, are playing for nothing more than pride and some positives to bring into next year. Still, the two sides are deadlocked in this weekend series, so let’s get into the odds for the rubber match, where the prediction is a Tigers win and under 9 runs scored.
Tigers Vs. Red Sox Prediction
With the Red Sox making a final playoff push, every single game matters. This is a team who last made the playoffs in 2021; they were in by a margin of just a game, and hosted the Wild Card game by virtue of a tiebreaker, so they know how fine the line is between postseason success and getting left out entirely. They haven’t done themselves any favors lately, as they’ve won just four of their past 10 games, including a loss to the Tigers on Saturday.
In pursuit of an oh-so-valuable victory in Sunday’s early afternoon contest, the Red Sox will be throwing Kutter Crawford, who has taken enormous strides in his third year as a pro. He has been sharp for the most part, a marked improvement after being totally ineffective in 2022, and a relatively disastrous debut in 2021, his only appearance of the season.
He’ll be throwing against Eduardo Rodríguez, a 2018 World Champion with none other than the Red Sox. After making the decision to refer to his no-trade clause and block a move to the playoff-bound LA Dodgers, it’s clear that he’s proud to be a Tiger and has shown it on the field. Most recently, he threw 7 shutout innings against the Minnesota Twins in an outstanding performance that shows just how motivated he is to be a Tiger. Against his old team, that fire should burn even hotter for the veteran lefty.
Conversely, Crawford is coming off of a pretty tough start, in which he didn’t even finish the fourth inning against a Royals team that can only be described as very bad. Given the starting pitching matchup, and a Red Sox lineup that is fairly dependent upon lefties who could have a very tough time against E-Rod, I’m going against the grain to pick the Tigers on the moneyline to win the game and series. In the same vein of predicting a nice outing from one starter, let’s put a lesser measure of faith in the other as well, and take the under for a total of 9.5 runs.
Tigers Vs. Red Sox Prediction: Tigers ML (+114), under 9.5 runs (-115)
Tigers Vs. Red Sox Odds
The Red Sox are -135 home favorites, compared to +114 odds for the Tigers. For a run total of 9.5, the under is -115 while the over is -105.
Tigers Vs. Red Sox Key Matchups
Eduardo Rodríguezvs. Red Sox Righties
It’s no secret that the southpaw Rodríguez tears up his fellow lefties, as has allows just a .488 OPS against those hitters
this season. On the other side of things, he gives up a .624 OPS against righties, still a very good number but not even close to the dominance he shows in lefty/lefty matchups. With a few good righty bats in the Boston lineup, this could prove to be an achilles heel of sorts for a guy who has been downright excellent by most measures.
Trevor Story is back from injury; he has very little track record this year but was an All Star as recently as 2019, and played at the same caliber en route to MVP votes in 2020, a year in which there was no All Star Game at all. Leadoff man Rob Refsnyder has done a great job getting the team up and running with an OBP of .382, and the powerful Adam Duvall has been solid in what has been another season of limited action. That’s about it though, there’s not enough righty depth in this lineup to shake my belief in Rodríguez, who remains a major reason I have the Tigers hitting the +114 moneyline in my Tigers vs. Red Sox prediction.
Kutter Crawford vs. Power Hitters
Crawford’s second full year as a pro has been much better than the first in almost every way possible, except for on glaring area of weakness; he allows home runs at pretty much the same rate. Luckily for him, Detroit is 28th in the majors in hitting homers, so he has a chance have a good day in that regard, but there are definitely still a few bats to watch out for.
Spencer Torkelson leads the team with a modest but solid tally of 18 home runs, but most Tigers fans would tell you that there are a couple of more impressive power hitters in the lineup. Kerry Carpenter has hit 15 in just 74 games, while Jake Rogers’s 14 in 79 put him in a similar range, but he’s done it as a catcher, making it an even greater feat. Carpenter has been perhaps the team’s best hitter this year, closely followed by Riley Greene, both of whom provide some potential for power against Crawford on Sunday.
Tigers Vs. Red Sox Starting Lineups
Tigers Starting Lineup
LF A. Baddoo L
CF R. Greene L
3B M. Vierling R
1B S. Torkelson R
RF K. Carpenter L
DH M. Cabrera R
SS Z. McKinstry L
2B N. Maton L
C J. Rogers R
Red Sox Starting Lineup
LF R. Refsnyder R
3B R. Devers L
CF A. Duvall R
DH M. Yoshida L
SS T. Story R
RF A. Verdugo L
2B P. Reyes R
1B T. Casas L
C C. Wong R