The Boston Red Sox push to AL Wild Card contention continues on Monday out west.
Boston faces the lowly Oakland Athletics on Monday, the start of a three-game series as the team tries to close the gap amongst the playoff teams. The Red Sox will start Nick Pivetta on Monday while the Athletics counter with Paul Blackburn.
Here are the odds for Monday's series opener:
Red Sox vs. Athletics odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Athletics prediction and pick
Boston's offense has kept the team afloat all season. The team is top 10 in OPS on the year and eighth over the last 30 days, per MLB.com.
The Red Sox will face Blackburn, who has a 4.86 ERA with a walk rate that has climbed over three per nine innings. Further, he is averaging less than five innings per appearance this season (eight games, seven starts), putting a ton of pressure on Oakland's league worst bullpen -- in terms of ERA.
If Blackburn is going to get chased from this game early, the Red Sox offensive firepower will be in line for a big outing.
However, Pivetta gives me concern on Monday. The righty is walking far too many batters, more than four per nine innings and has a high home run rate, allowing 15% of home runs on fly balls (which are 68% of the contact generated against him).
The A's are a poor offense, hitting .222 over the last 30 days, but Pivetta's lack of control makes me uneasy about trusting him on the road.
I'm going to stay off the side and target the over on Monday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.