Red Sox vs. Royals Best MLB Bets, Picks & Predictions: Lock in This Expert First 5 Pick

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Justin BalesAugust 4, 2022, 06:35 PM

Ready to lock in your MLB bets? OddsJam’s MLB expert breaks down his top pick and prediction for today’s slate. Find the bet @BalesSJustin is eyeing below.

Red Sox vs. Royals Betting Odds

8:10 p.m. ET

Kris Bubic and the Kansas City Royals will host Nick Pivetta and the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium tonight. We’re fading the offenses in a more pitcher-friendly stadium for this bet. 

Bubic isn’t a good pitcher by any stretch of the imagination. He owns a 2-6 record with a 5.45 ERA through 17 games (16 starts). He’s due for some positive regression, though, as he owns a 4.69 xFIP and a 3.06 BABIP this season. 

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Bubic isn’t a great strikeout option, entering this game with an 18.2% strikeout rate. He owns a 43.7% groundball rate, which is far from elite. Another major concern for the lefty is that he owns an 11.6% walk rate to go along with a 1.45 HR/9. 

Bubic has also struggled at home this season. His strikeout rate dips to 15.1% while his xFIP increases to 5.22. He’s been a reverse splits pitcher, though, as he owns a 20.4% strikeout rate with a 4.13 xFIP against right-handed batters. This is extremely important for the matchup tonight. 

Bubic is allowing his opponents to average 2 runs per game in the first five innings over his last six starts. Over that span, he’s had some difficult matchups, including the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros. Even the easier matchups could’ve caused problems, as they were with the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers (2). 

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Bubic gets a significantly better matchup against Boston tonight. The Red Sox are dealing with injuries, and they rank 23rd in the MLB in team wOBA (.289) and 19th in slugging percentage (.383) over the last 14 days. 

Boston has been struggling against left-handed pitching in recent games as well. The Red Sox rank 17th in the league in average (.226), 15th in slugging percentage (.369) and 19th in OPS against lefties since July 16. 

The Red Sox are expected to use seven right-handed batters tonight. Six of those seven are fully right-handed, while Yolmer Sanchez is a switch-hitter. Although that looks bad at face value, Bubic is a reverse splits pitcher, and this is good for him in this game. 

On the other side, Pivetta has seen mixed results in 2022. He owns an 8-8 record with a 4.47 ERA through 21 starts. His success is backed by a 4.25 xFIP through 118.2 innings. 

Pivetta has the ability to get strikeouts, as he boasts a 22.6% strikeout rate this season. He’s a flyball pitcher, recording only a 35.1% groundball rate this season. With that being said, he’s posted a 1.21 HR/9 thus far, and he doesn’t truly struggle with home runs. 

Pivetta owns the exact same xFIP at home and on the road. He isn’t a splits pitcher based on location, as nearly everything is identical. He’s drastically better against right-handed batters, though, as he owns a 24.4% strikeout rate with a 3.85 xFIP against righties. 

Pivetta has been struggling in recent games, but I don’t think that truly matters for tonight. He’s been playing against high-end offenses for several games in a row. His prior eight games have been against the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Guardians (2), New York Yankees (2), Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals. 

Prior to that eight-game stretch, Pivetta allowed 7 runs in the first five innings of his last eight starts. He allowed an average of only 0.9 runs in the first five innings per game over that span. He did have some tough matchups in those games, but he had several easy matchups that he could take advantage of as well. 

Pivetta gets a plus matchup against the Royals tonight. They sold a few starters at the trade deadline, and they’re struggling offensively now. Kansas City currently ranks 22nd in the league in team wOBA (.294) and 24th in slugging percentage (.362) over the last 14 days. 

The Royals have been struggling against right-handed pitching in recent games as well. They rank 16th in the league in average (.242) and 24th in slugging percentage (.364) and OPS (.659) against righties since July 16. 

These teams both have struggling bullpens, and I solely want to focus on the first five innings of this game. 

It’s important to note that Boston and Kansas City also rank 22nd and 26th in runs scored over the last 14 days. 

I trust Pivetta in this situation, and Bubic should be good enough to handle Boston’s offense early in this game. We’re fading the offenses more than we’re backing the pitchers tonight.

Red Sox vs. Royals F5 Under 4.5 | +104 at FanDuel


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