Redsox Tigers Betting Preview

Boston heads out on the road after finishing their last 10-game homestand with a 7-3 record. They enter a tough stretch in facing teams currently in first or second place in each game until May 27. “It will be a good test,” said Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew. “I think we’re well cut out for it. We know what we’ve got to do.” This type of schedule is nothing new for the Sox, as they have played 13 games this season against teams with a .600 winning percentage or better this year, tied for 2nd-most in the Majors. Boston is 3-10 (.231) in those contests. Look for 1B Kevin Youkilis to lead the charge offensively, hitting .394 (13-for-33) since the start of May, adding two home runs and scoring 11 runs over that span.

Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz is set to make his third career start against the Detroit Tigers. He last faced them on 8/13/09 at home and took a 2-0 loss against Tigers ace Justin Verlander. The Red Sox have won both road games with Buchholz on the mound, with the young right-hander garneshing a 2-0 record and 2.08 ERA in 13 innings of work. This year’s road ERA is a vast improvement from his 5.42 career ERA away from Fenway, which is nearly a run and a half higher than when pitching at home (4.08).

Detroit welcomes Boston into town after picking up a series win over the Yankees. On Thursday afternoon, the Tigers picked up a 6-0 shutout victory, riding the arm of ace Justin Verlander. This is nothing new for a pitching staff that ranks sixth among all American League clubs with a 3.60 ERA at home. Through the club’s first 35 games this season, relievers have compiled a 10-4 record and 2.61 ERA. Tigers relievers lead the AL with a 2.61 ERA and 113.2 innings pitched. The Tigers offer a dynamic one-two punch at the top of the order with Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon, as both are in the Top 15 in the AL in on-base percentage.

Tigers SP Max Scherzer has struggled mightily at Comerica Park this season, with his worst home start of the year coming on April 28, allowing six runs on 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings. It was the right-hander’s shortest outing since May 2009. He’s managed to give up six long balls in 37 innings of work this season, which is cause for concern in facing a Red Sox lineup that’s 2nd in the Majors in home runs. Friday’s start will be Scherzer’s first against Boston and an AL East opponent in his career.

Bettors have profited in a big way with the Red Sox compiling a 45-19 record following an off day in recent years, but they are just 1-2 (-188) in three opportunities this year. Boston has also failed in its last three opportunities as a road favorite (-459) getting swept in Baltimore.

Despite Scherzer’s woes at home, bettors can find comfort in the Tigers 4-1 (+503) home underdog record early in 2010. The stat that may be more discouraging is the fact Boston swept Detroit at Comerica Park last season, outscoring the Tigers 21-9 in the process.

The current line at the time of publish is Boston -127/Detroit +117 with a posted total of 9.5.

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