- Reds-Red Sox Over 9 (-108) at SBK
- Rockies-Diamondbacks Under 10 (-115) at Bet365
- Guardians-Twins Over 8 (-109) at SugarHouse
The first time Roger Clemens went to Boston’s Fenway Park, he thought his cab driver had made a mistake – all Clemens could see was a brick wall. The same thing happened to Dennis Eckersley when he got dropped off. They thought they’d been taken to a warehouse.
That’s the way ballparks used to be. Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field are the last two survivors of the old “jewel box” era, when stadiums were designed to fit inside city blocks. That’s why the dimensions at Fenway are so small, and irregular, compared to more modern venues.
Tiny ballparks naturally lead to more scoring, which brings us to the first of our three baseball picks for Thursday’s abbreviated slate. The computers at OddsTrader know what’s up with Fenway; they’ve got the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds going Over by a healthy amount.
Thursday, June 01, 2023 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
Cincinnati (Over 31-23) beat the Red Sox (Over 33-20-1) 9-8 this past Tuesday in the first game of their three-game set, easily blowing out their 10-run total; Game 2, which is in progress as we go to press, had a total of 10.5 at the close. Why only nine runs for the finale?
Probably because both teams are at the top of their rotations now. Chris Sale (3.61 xFIP) is due up for Boston, which is normally bad news for opponents – the Red Sox are 7-3 in his 10 starts thus far. However, Sale’s also putting up the worst numbers of his career, driving the Over to a 6-3-1 record in the process.
Hunter Greene (3.45 xFIP) is only in his second year in the bigs, so his career arc is still on the ascendancy; Greene has the Under at 6-5 after 11 starts, and that’s despite playing his home games at the Great American Ball Park, which has a park factor of 104 for runs this year (No. 10 overall) according to Baseball Savant.
Greene also has the No. 3 bullpen on the FanGraphs WAR charts to back him up – and he’ll probably need them, since the Reds are only No. 23 in hitting WAR. But those bats should liven up at Fenway, where the forecast calls for temperatures in the low 80s and light winds heading out toward left field.
The OT computers can smell the value. They’ve got Cincinnati winning this one 5.4 runs to 5.1, numbers which appear a bit optimistic to our failing human eyes, but still well enough ahead of nine runs to fire a small wager at.
MLB Pick: Over 9 (-108) at SBK
Thursday, June 01, 2023 – 03:40 PM EDT at Chase Field
Chase Field has a 98 park factor for runs this year (No. 15 overall), but this is also a retractable-roof stadium, and that roof is scheduled to be closed Thursday afternoon with temperatures expected to reach the mid-80s in Phoenix.
We’ve still got a chunky total of 10 runs to work with Thursday because it’ll be Chase Anderson (5.11 xFIP) throwing for Colorado versus Zach Davies (5.24 xFIP). However, despite those ugly numbers, each of these gentlemen has the Under at 2-1 through three starts.
Technically, the OT computers project this game to be a push on the 10-run total, with Arizona winning 6.1 runs to 3.9. But we’re still recommending a slight lean on the Under at -115 betting odds, now that they’re going to close the roof – it was open for Wednesday’s game, which was a later start at 9:40 PM EDT.
MLB Pick: Under 10 (-115) at Bet365
Thursday, June 01, 2023 – 07:40 PM EDT at Target Field
They took a big chance when they didn’t build a roof over Target Field (112 park factor for runs, No. 5), but it’s worked out for the most part – this is an absolutely beautiful ballpark. And it’s going to be a very hot one this Thursday, with temperatures in the high 80s over Minneapolis under partly cloudy skies.
Again, we’re using that weather report to override the OT computers; they’re calling for another push, projecting Minnesota to win 4.3 runs to 3.7. That is a very sharp projection in our judgment.
We’d be more excited if Tanner Bibee (4.22 xFIP) weren’t such a hot prospect for Cleveland. And the Twins have a proven veteran in Pablo Lopez (3.69 xFIP) ready to take the hill.
Be that as it may, the hot conditions and that -109 deal on juice at SugarHouse make Over 8 worth a slight lean. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.
MLB Pick: Over 8 (-109) at SugarHouse