By Charles Jay
The Boston Red Sox are probably pretty lucky to be just a couple of games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East; they have gotten some good work from their bullpen, but the starters have been inconsistent. They are hoping that David Price can be a consistent performer for them by the time the pennant stretch rolls around, and he will take the mound against the Houston Astros on Sunday night. BetDNA customers can follow the action all night long by accessing the best live betting software on the planet, and you also need to check out their parlay and teaser odds, because they are the best in the business as well.
Price was a Cy Young winner in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays, and he was the runner-up just a couple of years ago. Last year he was at 3.99 on his ERA with the Red Sox, and you know, he has yet to produce great numbers in a Boston uniform. This season he started behind the eight-ball, with an elbow injury that kept him out of action until May 29. Before he came back to Beantown he got hit pretty good in a rehab start at Triple-A. But he came back anyway, with mixed results. He is walking batters at a much higher rate than ever before, and even with the disclaimer that this is a small sampling, some of this might be attributed to a blister on the ring finger of his throwing hand.
His opponent is Joe Musgrove of the Astros, who is 4-5 with a 4.81 ERA, and he is being called upon here primarily because the 'Stros have been hit with so many injuries in their starting rotation.
In the baseball betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetDNA, home of the best live betting software on the planet, Houston is a -119 favorite, with a total of nine runs.
Price got kicked around by the Yankees two starts ago, and lost his cool, making obscene gestures at fans, but he has calmed down and had a decent start against the Phillies last time out. If he can throw it straighter, he can get on the right track. The elbow isn't the problem, or at least we don't think so - he has struck out 8.2 batters per nine innings, which is not his best figure, or even close, but it does show that he has some zip on the fastball. And he says that during his last outing against the Phillies, he went over a mechanical problem with his pitching coach and got it corrected.
Red Sox manager John Farrell held Price out of a scheduled bullpen session before facing Philadelphia, but he has trusted Price enough to let him throw more than 100 pitches in each of these last two starts. Musgrove wants to reach 100 pitches, although we are not sure Houston manager AJ Hinch is going to allow that to happen.
Musgrove had to go on the DL with shoulder inflammation, and when he came back he threw 75 pitches. Hinch admits that his big right-hander is not at 100%, so we don't expect he'll be an iron man here. We sometimes worry about pitchers who may be out there for the wrong reasons, and with the Astros having -amazingly - Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Colin McHugh and Charlie Morton on the shelf, there aren't many options. So Musgrove, who says he felt sore at times during that start against Texas.
Boston has the starter who can go deeper into the game, and he is the most likely guy to take control . But they also have the better bullpen people. The Red Sox are also a lot better than the three runs they have scored in the last three games. We'll give them a measured call in baseball betting action on Sunday, which can be seen on ESPN as you do your live betting.
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