The Boston Red Sox host the Detroit Tigers in the middle game of their three-game on Wednesday evening. This is the first series of the season between these two teams. Boston, who has the second-best record in the American League, leads the American League East by 2.5 games over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Toronto Blue Jays are three games behind the Red Sox heading into Wednesday's action. Detroit, on the other hand, has the worst record in baseball and is already nine games out of first place in the AL Central. Game one of the series went the Red Sox' way, as they led the entire way before finally ending up with an 11-7 victory.
Boston jumped out to a 7-2 lead after two innings on Tuesday night, and more or less cruised to the victory. The Tigers tried to make a comeback, as they scored four runs in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 9-7, but could get no closer. Five players for the Red Sox had multi-hit games, including Christian Vasquez and Hunter Renfroe, who both had three hits and two RBI apiece. The Red Sox hit four home runs in the game, as Renfroe, Enrique Hernandez, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo all went deep in the win. Detroit got three hits, three RBI, and two walks from Robbie Grossman, while Victor Reyes also contributed three hits in the losing cause.
Tigers threatening modern record for futilityTo say that the Detroit Tigers are not having a good season in 2021 may be the understatement of the century. However, to say that they are the worst team in MLB history may not be much of a stretch. With their loss to Boston on Tuesday, the Tigers fell to a pathetic 8-22, which is a .267 winning percentage. Only six teams since 1900 have ended a season with a worse mark, including Detroit's 2003 team that went 43-119 (.265). At their current rate, they are on pace to end up 43.2-118.8 (which equates to another 43-119 season) this season. The worst record since 1900 was recorded by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics, who went 36-117 for a .235 winning percentage. The Tigers record may actually be a little bit inflated because of a decent start this season, if you can believe that. Detroit started the season by winning six of their first 12 games, but they have lost 16 of their last 18 games, which is a .111 winning percentage over those 18 games. Even the Tigers can't keep that pace up, so let's assume that they will play somewhere between their overall percentage (.267) and their last 18-game pace (.111) the rest of the season. The midway point between those two percentages is .189. With 132 games remaining, a .189 winning percentage will give them an additional 25 wins, which, when added to their current total of eight, would give the Tigers a 33-129 final record, or a .204 winning percentage, obliterating the old record. To put it another way, if Detroit plays all 162 games this season, they would need 39 total wins to avoid the Philadelphia A's mark for futility, which means that they have to play at a .235 pace the rest of the way. That is 6.2 wins per month, or one win every 4.8 days. Wednesday is the fifth day of May, and they don't yet have a victory this month, so without a win in the middle game of their series against the Red Sox, they will already be behind schedule to avoid the worst season in MLB history.
Detroit's offense broke out a little bit on Tuesday, but they had scored just five total runs in their previous five games, which included three shutout losses. The Tigers have been shutout a total of six times this season.
“We lost a couple of key at-bats. They just kept coming at us," Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said on espn.com. “I thought our bats were the best they’ve been in a while. I thought our guys hung in quite a bit, just not quite enough.”
Detroit has the worst offense in baseball this season, as they are last in runs per game (2.87), hits per game (6.23), and walks per game (2.50). Jeimer Candelario is one of only a handful of players who have an average over .200 this season for the Tigers, as he leads the team with a .270 batting average. Wilson Ramos leads Detroit in home runs with six, while Akil Baddoo has a team-leading 13 RBI. Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is in possibly the worst stretch of his career, as he is in a 3-33 slump, which has dropped his current batting average to .105. Five of the Tigers' nine starters on Tuesday are batting under the Mendoza line. Detroit raised their team batting average to .199 with their 10-hit performance on Tuesday, and they have 31 home runs in their 30 games. The Tigers also have the worst ERA in baseball at 5.21 this season.
Casey Mize takes the mound on Wednesday to try and halt Detroit's six-game losing streak. He is 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA in five starts this season. Mize is coming of a loss to the Chicago White Sox, as he gave up three runs on four hits in six innings pitched on Thursday. Opposing hitters are batting .267 with five home runs this season. This will be Mize's first career start against the Red Sox.
Red Sox looking to take advantage of Tigers poor playThe Boston Red Sox couldn't have picked a better time to have the Detroit Tigers come to town. The Red Sox were coming off just their second series loss of the season, as they dropped three of four games to the Texas Rangers over the weekend. Before that, Boston had won four of their previous five games. Boston's pitching has let them down over the last three games, as they have given up an average of 6.7 runs per game in their last three games. Even though they have a .600 winning percentage this season, they have not played well over the last few weeks. Since their nine-game winning streak early in the season, the Red Sox are playing just .500 ball in their last 18 games (9-9).
“Our offense did an outstanding job," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after Tuesday’s win on espn.com.
Boston has the best hitting team in the Major Leagues this season, as they are hitting .265 through their first 30 games of the season. They have hit 37 home runs this season, which is the median total in the league. The Red Sox are also leading the league in OPS with a .776 mark this season. J.D. Martinez leads the way for Boston's offense, as he is hitting .349 (second on the team) with nine home runs and 27 RBI (both league-leading totals) this season. Bogaerts is leading the team with a .351 batting average this season. The Red Sox have the 13th-best ERA in baseball at 3.86 this season.
Martin Perez will toe the rubber for Boston on Wednesday. He is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA this season in five starts. Perez is coming off his second loss of the season, but he pitched pretty well on Thursday against the Texas Rangers. He gave up just one earned run and five hits in 5.2 innings pitched. Opposing batters are hitting .278 against Perez this season, but he has given up just one home run. He has not pitched well against the Tigers in his career, going 2-4 with a 6.81 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts). The Tigers have hit Perez very well in their careers, as they have a .333 batting average with two home runs and six doubles in 63 at bats.
- The Tigers are 0-6 in their last six games overall
- The Tigers are 0-6 in their last six games versus Boston
- The Tigers are 0-6 in their last six road games
Trends found on oddsshark.com:
- The Red Sox are 6-3 in their last nine games versus an American League Central Division opponent
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This game features the team with the best record in the league versus one of the worst teams in MLB history. On paper, this will not even be a game. The Red Sox have won six straight against the Tigers, and they took control of Tuesday's game early, as they put it on cruise control to win the series opener. Detroit has lost six straight games overall and 16 of their last 18 games. Boston's top-ranked offense will tee off again on Detroit's last-ranked pitching staff on Wednesday. Look for the Red Sox to win big again.
Full-Game Total Pick
The first game of this series featured 18 total runs scored. The last 10 games played between these two teams have had an average of 11.5 runs scored per game. The total has gone over in seven of those 10 games. The total has gone over in four of Detroit's last five games, and four of Boston's last five home games. Neither starting pitcher has been very good this season, as they both have ERA's of 4.70 or higher. The Tigers have hit Perez very well in their careers, so look for them to continue their good hitting on Wednesday. This will be another high-scoring affair on Wednesday.