Boston will be hoping to snap out of its slump when it wraps up its three-game series at Detroit on Thursday afternoon. The Red Sox were on a five-game losing streak heading into Wednesday night’s contest—this story was published prior to that game. Detroit has been playing well since the All-Star break, but it is still multiple games under .500.
Perez hoping to bounce backBoston’s lead in the American League East has now dissipated. The Red Sox cannot afford to keep losing games with how good their division is, having dropped five straight games heading into Wednesday night. They were swept in a critical three-game series at Tampa Bay over the weekend, which is why the Rays now have a one-game lead in the division standings. New York is expected to contend as well, sitting five games back of Boston. The Red Sox have relied upon their offense all season, ranked fourth in the MLB with a team batting average of .256.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts leads the team with 113 hits and a .307 average. Left fielder J.D. Martinez has 112 hits, including 20 home runs. Third baseman Rafael Devers has been the best power hitter, though, cranking 27 homers this season. They will be facing a Detroit pitching staff that is No. 22 with a team ERA of 4.55. Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez is expected to start for Boston in this game. He allowed six runs across four innings in a loss to Tampa Bay in his last outing. Perez gave up three home runs for the second time this season. He is now winless in his last four starts and has a 4.56 ERA overall.
Tigers continue playing well after All-Star breakDetroit entered the second half of the season sitting 11 games under .500, but it went on a tear immediately following the All-Star break. The Tigers won seven consecutive games, sweeping Minnesota and Texas. They cooled off after that, losing six of their next nine games, but they have responded with a pair of wins. Detroit is still five games under .500 and is 12 games back in the AL Central. The most promising path to the postseason is the Wild Card race, where the Tigers are 8.5 games back of Oakland for the second spot. Their offense is sitting at No. 15 with a team batting average of .242.
These are high fives.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 4, 2021
That means we won. pic.twitter.com/q905RgeY6A
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been the most consistent bat in the lineup, recording 115 hits at a .283 clip. Third baseman Jonathan Candelario has 101 hits, while left fielder Robbie Grossman has added 86 hits. They will be facing a Boston pitching staff that is No. 14 with a team ERA of 4.20. Southpaw Tarik Skubal is in line to start for Detroit on Thursday afternoon. He allowed four runs on seven hits across 5.2 innings against Baltimore in his last start. Skubal has given up eight homers in his last four starts, which has caused his ERA to balloon to 5.16.
- 4-0 in Perez's last four starts with five days of rest
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston has been too good all season for me to fade them at this point. Oddsmakers have been forced to set a low price on the Red Sox due to their losing skid, but this is a nice bounce-back spot. Neither starting pitcher has been particularly good, which makes me want to look at both offenses. Boston is much better than Detroit at the plate. Skubal has struggled with power hitters—he is not going to enjoy facing this Red Sox offense. Boston needs to regain its footing in the division standings and I think it takes care of business on Thursday afternoon.
Full-Game Total Pick
I want nothing to do with the under in this game. Detroit has been much better offensively since the All-Star break, which makes its games much more likely to go over the total. The Tigers are facing a pitcher who has struggled of late and is having to get things going early in the afternoon. Boston’s lineup is capable of hanging a crooked number on any given day, especially against a struggling pitcher. Either team could put up a decent amount of runs in this game, so I will gladly take the over at a single-digit number.