Red Sox vs. Twins prediction and odds for Monday, June 19 (A dream matchup for Paxton)

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65)
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend couldn’t have gone any better for the Boston Red Sox. A three-game sweep of the Yankees to get back over .500. At 37-35 Boston is still in last place in the AL East, but they’re also still in the playoff picture in the American League. Now, they get a chance to make up ground on the best division in baseball by playing the team in first place in the worst one. At 36-36 the Minnesota Twins are leading the AL Central despite dropping three of four to the Tigers over the weekend. 

For Game 1 the Red Sox will lean on James Paxton to keep them in the win column for the fifth straight game. Paxton is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his six starts for Boston this season. He will be opposed by Pablo Lopez who is 3-3 with a 4.27 ERA in 14 starts for Minnesota.

Let’s take a look at the odds for this matchup. 

Red Sox vs. Twins odds, run line and total

Red Sox vs. Twins prediction and pick

Minnesota might be favored in this one, but this is a bad matchup for the Twins. James Paxton has been good since getting healthy for the Red Sox. He has 44 strikeouts to just 10 walks in 32.0 innings with only four homers allowed, all in his first three starts. Most importantly of all, he’s left-handed and that’s a big problem for Minnesota.

The Twins are 28th in OPS against lefties at .661 with just 17 home runs and 170 strikeouts to 49 walks. Notably, Byron Buxton has been a disaster against left-handed pitching with a .474 OPS himself. He only has six hits in 44 at-bats and is second on the team with 17 strikeouts. The Twins have also struck out more than any team in the MLB with 47 more than Oakland who is second worst. 

Paxton is in the 94th percentile of strikeout rate and has a 90th percentile whiff rate so far this year. This isn’t just a bad matchup for Minnesota, it’s a nightmare matchup. Pablo Lopez has been a good pitcher this year, but he won’t get the run support and will take the loss in this one. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change