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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Predictions, Picks and MLB Preview – April 5, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Predictions, Picks and MLB Preview – April 5, 2017


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Preview

Where: Fenway Park – Boston, MA

When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 7:10 PM ET

Line: Pittsburgh Pirates (+149) at Boston Red Sox (-164); total: 7.5 – view all MLB lines

TV Broadcast: NESN, RTPT

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Betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates (0-1)

Moneyline: +149

The Pirates lost to an American League team for the first time in a season-opener after Monday’s 5-3 defeat to the Red Sox. Pittsburgh had 2011 MLB Draft top pick Gerrit Cole as their starter, and he gave up seven hits (one homer) and five earned runs in the five innings he pitched.

The batters struggled as well, as they collectively went 8-for-34 (.235), with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte both producing zero hits in eight at-bats.

Helping the club bounce back is Jameson Taillon. The second-year pitcher, who like Cole is a first-round draft choice (second overall in 2010), will be making his debut at Fenway Park.

Taillon is in his first full year with the Pirates. He entered the majors in June of last year, starting 18 times and posting a 5-4 record with a 3.38 ERA. In those starts, he struck out 85 batters in 104 innings, and was also able to limit opponents to two earned runs or less nine times.

Pittsburgh has won in eight of the last ten times they tapped Taillon as the starter, which dates back to the season prior.

Betting on the Boston Red Sox (1-0)

Moneyline: -164

Reigning AL Cy Young awardee Rick Porcello looked good on Opening Day, as he shutout the Pirates in the first six innings and only permitted three hits in that span. He got a bit shaky in the seventh and got blasted for three runs, but it shouldn’t cause too much concern. We can just chalk it up to him getting a little gassed since he is not yet in rhythm to throw that much.

Up next for the Red Sox’s pitching duties is Chris Sale, one of the biggest free agent acquisitions in the MLB last off-season. Though there is some uncertainty since this will be his first encounter with Pittsburgh and its main hitters, he is sure to pose a big threat. The eighth-year veteran concluded 2016 having the most complete games (six) and the fifth-most strikeouts (233) in the league.

As for the batting, the Red Sox, as you may know, are parading an array of explosive batters – Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., etc.

One of today’s most intriguing, though, is second-year Andrew Benintendi. He appeared in 34 games last year and had a .295 average after 105 at-bats, highlighted by his 31 hits, two homers, and 14 RBIs.

The 21-year-old may have further amplified the hype around him with his performance Monday, as he belted a three-run homer in the fifth inning to give the team a comfortable lead.

Writer’s Prediction

The Red Sox (-164) take it again, 4-1.

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Written by JE

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