Boston has the best record in baseball and it has every intention to consolidate its lead over the New York Yankees. So far they did everything that needed to be done to stay at the top of the division and they’ve achieved something similar to what Oakland accomplished a couple of weeks ago. Back then they were tied for the lead with the Rangers and managed to break free by winning the series against them. More on that matter at http://www.jackhammerbaseball.com/oaklands-best-chance-to-consolidate-lead/.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to finish off the Mariners at home, in the final game of the series after winning both encounters and scoring 13 runs while conceding six. At the first glance it might look like Boston is going to cruise to an easy victory, but there is one man standing behind them and a well-deserved sweep. Felix Hernandez is Seattle’s best and only hope this year and with 11 victories and just four defeats, he is beyond doubt the best starting pitcher in their rotation.
His ERA of 2.34 is almost twice as good as Ryan Dempster’s who will be opposing him tonight but even so, Felix remains vulnerable. The reason for why the bookmakers those credit him with the first chance to add another victory to his impressive record is that the Mariners are struggling to score runs. Both away and at home, Seattle scores just a handful of points and unless the starting pitcher lasts at least six innings, the team loses in the final minutes.
Although some progress has been made in improving the bullpen and relievers now defend the hard earned gains more effectively, there is still plenty of work to be done. Ryan Dempster doesn’t have to worry about his earned run average, at least that’s the feeling we get after seeing that he conceded on average six runs per game, still he earned his winning decisions. The Red Sox were tremendous at bat recently and Ryan was the main beneficiary, but he shouldn’t rely exclusively on his offensive teammates.
This has all the ingredients to turn into a highly contested game and although it is not a pitcher’s duel, Felix is pretty much on his own while Dempster can rely on his opponents. Even so, there are very few reasons in favor of backing Boston, except maybe the fact that they have the best home record in the American League. Savvy punters will probably go against the odds and wager on the underdog to emerge victorious, as Seattle is valued at even odds by most bookmakers.