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Inexplicably, Red Sox Are Game 3 Underdogs

Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by Xander Bogaerts #2 and Mookie Betts #50 after scoring in the fifth inning during Game 2 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts

I get it, Walker Buehler had a good year and LA won the NL pennant – but what have the Dodgers done through the first two games of the World Series to earn the favorite position? Not much. In fact, it appears that they’re melting down at the very worst possible time. Boston is a +135 underdog to take Game 3 tonight in LA while the Dodgers are at -160. 

SHARK BITES
  • The Dodgers are batting .194 at Dodger Stadium in this year’s playoffs.
  • Boston is 4-0 SU when Rick Porcello takes the mound this postseason.
  • The Red Sox are batting .297 with 12 runs scored in the World Series.

Red Sox vs Dodgers Game Center

Red Sox Running Roughshod

Boston is 9-2 this postseason and has won six straight games since losing Game 1 to Houston in the ALCS. On this six-game win streak, the Red Sox are outscoring the opposition 39-20, winning by at least two runs in each game.

The Boston bullpen, which was an apparent weakness heading into the playoffs, has been outstanding. Through 45.1 innings, Red Sox relievers have a .194 opponents’ batting average, a 3.18 ERA, and have converted six save opportunities.

Dave Roberts On The Hot Seat

Any time that a team doesn’t succeed, the manager will undoubtedly come under scrutiny. Any time you lose one World Series and then start the next year’s World Series with two consecutive losses, the manager will face a firing squad.

Dave Roberts is the lightning rod for the Dodgers coming up short in Games 1 and 2. His staunch use of lefty vs righty matchups has potentially cost the Dodgers in run-scoring situations. Noticeably in Game 2, Roberts left Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson on the bench with runners on and the bottom of the order up.

That was in the fourth inning. LA didn’t get another baserunner in the game.

My Pick for Game 3

I like OVER 7.5 runs in this game and, at +135, I can’t not take Boston on the moneyline. The Red Sox are 7-1 SU in their last eight games started by Rick Porcello and they’re 4-0 SU in the four games he’s appeared in this postseason.

As for LA’s penchant for matching its lineup based on which side a pitcher throws from, Porcello’s splits this year were nearly identical – a .241 OBA vs left-handed batters and .240 vs right-handed batters.

The bottom line is the Dodgers’ bats are asleep. Teams that live and die with the home run tend to die with it come playoff time. How many times have the Dodgers struck out or popped up on the infield in these playoffs?

Clutch hitting is near non-existent as they’re batting .191 with runners in scoring position this postseason. Unless there’s a clear change in approach (and I don’t see it coming), Boston is likely to go up 3-0 in this series.

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