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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Predictions, Picks and MLB Preview – April 3, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Predictions, Picks and MLB Preview – April 3, 2017


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Preview

Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA

When: Monday, April 3, 2017, 2:05 PM ET

Line: Pittsburgh Pirates (+148) at Boston Red Sox (-163); total: 9.0 – view all MLB lines

TV Broadcast: NESN, RTPT

Writer’s Pick: Red Sox (-163)

Betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates

Moneyline: +148

The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their three-year streak of playoff appearances come to an end last season, as a couple of their biggest names did not have the best of campaigns.

Most glaring of all was Andrew McCutchen’s decline. The former NL MVP had a season best left forgotten, as he finished with a .256 batting average and just 79 runs batted in after hitting no worse than .292 and racking up no less than 83 RBIs the four seasons prior. He’s now the team’s starting right fielder after manning the center of the outfield throughout his MLB career, but we’re not certain that this change will help his swing whatsoever.

Another player that could’ve done more is starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (7-10, 3.88 ERA in 2016), who’ll take the mound this Monday for his first-ever Opening Day start. Cole was mired with injuries last season and made only 21 starts. In turn, he posted career-lows of 98 strikeouts and a .389 opponent batting average.

Both McCutchen and Cole are instrumental to Pittsburgh’s success, which means the two must get off to a hot start to give the team a spark that wasn’t present the last time around. On the bright side, a rare inter-league series against Boston may indeed get the Pirates off on the right foot, as they’ve won five of their last six meetings against the Red Sox dating back to 2011.

Betting on the Boston Red Sox

Moneyline: -163

Baseball in Boston will never be the same without David Ortiz, as the Red Sox will no longer have Big Papi leading the team after a decade-and-a-half’s worth of stellar service.

On the other hand, the Sox actually look better than they were the previous year. An influx of young, outstanding talent – namely the trio of “Killer B’s” in 2016 AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts – make for a promising core than could keep Boston in the World Series hunt for years to come. Rookie Andrew Benintendi could also throw his name into that mix if his body of work from the minors is any indication.

Like the Pirates, the Red Sox will have an Opening-Day first-timer make his start this Monday in Rick Porcello (13-1, 2.97 ERA last season). The reigning AL Cy Young Award-winner clearly has an edge over Pittsburgh’s Cole, which pretty much means that Pittsburgh’s batters will be in for a long afternoon.

Porcello also has to like his chances of coming out with a win in the first game of the season. The Red Sox have won three of their last four season openers, albeit that they were all on the road. Then again, they’ve also won their last two Opening Day contests held in Fenway back in 2009 and 2010.

Writer’s Prediction

Boston (-163) draws first blood, 5-3.

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Written by Mark

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis