Getting into the mix in the AL East is no small task and the Boston Red Sox seem to have accomplished that. They’re still last and after a loss to the Chicago Cubs yesterday they sit at 49-44, but they’re just a game behind the Yankees and only 10 games back of first.
Even after losing yesterday, they’ve taken nine of their last 11 games. The Cubs are 43-48 and seven games out of first in the NL Central.
For the series finale, the Red Sox will go with Kutter Crawford to make his 10th start. In his previous nine and his eight relief appearances, he is 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Chicago will counter with its All-Star lefty, Justin Steele. Steele is 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA.
The Red Sox are red-hot, but they might not be hot enough to melt Steele. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Red Sox vs. Cubs odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Cubs prediction and pick
For the season, the Boston Red Sox are 19th in team ERA, they have an average to slightly below average pitching staff, and in July that’s no different. They’re 15th in team ERA with a 4.25 which is only slightly better than their 4.38 mark for the season.
However, at the plate, things have gone much better and that’s the reason for all the winning. This month, the Red Sox are first in team OPS at .884 and are fifth in runs scored.
Jarren Duran, Rafael Devers and Justin Turner are currently tearing the cover off the ball. Duran has a 1.513 OPS in July with seven doubles, three triples and a home run in just 31 at-bats. Devers and Turner both have an OPS greater than 1.000 and Masataka Yoshida and Christian Arroyo are in the high .900s.
The issue for Boston is that of their top six hitters in terms of OPS in July, four are lefties. Justin Steele allows a .591 OPS to left-handed hitters this season and has only given up five extra base hits in 70 at-bats.
The Cubs have a .682 team OPS this month and despite their 10-run outpouring yesterday are an offense I’m looking to fade. I’m putting my faith in Steele and I’ll take the under in this one.
Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change