The news continues to get worse for the struggling Boston Red Sox as not only were they swept at home over the weekend by the White Sox but ace pitcher has suffered a setback in his recovery from a fractured rib cage suffered in late February and now may not be back before July when it was hoped he’d return in June. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups. Check back for MLB odds.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (May 9th, 2022)
The 🐐 stands alone atop this week's Hitter Power Rankings. pic.twitter.com/IS5cy9GMiz— MLB (@MLB) May 6, 2022
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Angels
- When: Monday, May 9, 2022. 9:38pm ET
- Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
- TV: Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports West
- Radio: WDAE 620 AM (Rays) / KWKW 1330 (Angels)
- MLB Betting Odds: Rays (+117) / Angels (-135)
Series opener between what I believe will both be playoff teams and it’s a good pitching matchup as former AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber of the Rays takes on Noah Syndergaard of the Halos. Tampa Bay also got a big bat back on Sunday when first baseman/DH Ji-Man Choi was activated from the 10-day injured list. He was off to a great start, hitting .357/.491/.595 with a pair of homers across 53 plate appearances.
The Angels have placed shortstop David Fletcher on the 10-day injured list with a left hip strain. It’s the same hip strain he’s been dealing with since early April and put him on the IL once already. He appeared in only nine games before succumbing to the injury again, making it likely that he’ll be sidelined for more than the minimum 10 days. The 27-year-old is scheduled to meet with a specialist in the coming days to determine if surgery is necessary to treat the injury. Luis Rengifo was recalled to take his place on the active roster.
The Rays are 5-1-0 in their last six series following a 1-2-0 start. Since the start of last season, the Rays have a majors-most 52 comeback wins and ML-most 9 wins when trailing after 8 innings.
Kluber (1-1, 2.36) was excellent last time out against the A’s with seven strikeouts over six shutout frames. The 36-year-old scattered three hits and one walk. The only real threat against him came after Seth Brown smacked a one-out triple in the second inning, but Kluber responded by striking out Stephen Piscotty and Chad Pinder to strand the runner at third. He generated 10 swinging strikes 64 pitches while posting a CSW of 33 percent.
Syndergaard (2-1, 2.63) picked up the loss last Tuesday after pitching seven innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three against the Red Sox. The right-hander gave up two runs in the fourth inning — including a solo home run by Rafael Devers — before later surrendering a third run on a Trevor Story sacrifice fly in the seventh frame. He has now allowed three or less runs in all four of his starts this year.
MLB Betting Pick: Angels
Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves
- When: Tuesday, May 10, 2022. 7:20pm ET.
- Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
- TV: NESN, Bally Sports Southeast, TBS (out-of-market only)
- Radio: WCCM 1490 AM (Red Sox) / 680 AM (Braves)
- MLB Betting Odds: TBA
TBS has the national telecast of this game. The Sox are in a major funk but Manager Alex Cora apparently is safe. The big free-agent signing of Trevor Story has proven to be a major bust. went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts batting in the two hole and the Red Sox lost 3-2 to the White Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday. Story has struck out 35 times in 105 plate appearances (33.3% strikeout percentage). He is batting .194 with a .276 on-base percentage, .269 slugging percentage and .545 OPS. He has yet to homer. Cora hinted he might have to move him down in the lineup. The Red Sox’s offense ranks 28th in the majors in on-base percentage (.279) and 25th in slugging (.342).
“We’ll see where we’re at Tuesday,” Cora said when asked about Story potentially being moved down. “We have to make adjustments. It’s an adjustment game.”
Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t hitting much, either, but leads the AL and is tied for the MLB lead at any position with 6 defensive runs saved. He leads MLB right fielders and ranks tied for first among all outfielders (also Jurickson Profar and Trevor Larnach).
It’s Garrett Whitlock (1-1, 1.25 ERA) on the mound for Boston. Whitlock struck out a career-high nine while limiting the Angels to two runs over five innings Wednesday. Whitlock retired the first 12 batters he faced, with seven of them coming via the strikeout. Cora hasn’t committed to Whitlock’s long-term role yet as he’s a former reliever, but he got stretched out to 78 pitches in what was his third straight start. Whitlock leads the majors (minimum 20.0 IP) with a 0.69 WHIP and .185 opponent OBP, leading the AL with a .143 opponent average and .432 opponent OPS.
Kyle Wright (3-1, 1.74) goes for Atlanta. Wright posted his third straight quality start — but was handed his first loss of the season — after allowing three runs on nine hits over seven innings against the Mets last Tuesday.
MLB Betting Pick: Braves
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.