MLB Baseball: Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland Indians Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

by James Q

MLB Baseball:  Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland Indians Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

Game Time:  1:10 pm ET, Sunday, August 29, 2021
Venue:  Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Where to Watch:  Bally Sports Great Lakes, NESN

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline odds: Red Sox  -150, Indians +130, Over/Under:  9.5 runs
Open:  Moneyline odds:  Red Sox -170, Indians +130; Over/Under:  9.5 runs

Season Record

Red Sox:  74-56, 3rd AL East
Indians:  63-63, 2nd AL Central
Sunday’s game is the last of a three-game series.  The Red Sox took the first game Friday with a score of 4-3.  Winning on the moneyline and cashing an Under.  The results for Saturday are not in yet, but if true to form the Red Sox will be pushing toward a sweep.  Jonathan Arauz had the big hit that cashed 3 RBIs Friday night giving Boston the win.

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Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland Indians Preview and Analysis

The Red Sox are 5-5 in their last ten games.  A pace that will not do it in the AL East!  They grabbed 6 Overs and 4 Unders.  They were swept by the New York Yankees 0-3, went 2-1 against the Texas Rangers, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins, 1-0 against Cleveland (so far).  The Red Sox at one point this season looked like the class of MLB.  But then the American League poured it on with the Yankees picking up steam, the Tampa Bay Rays pulling away with first place, and even the Toronto Blue jays coming on strong from deep below.  The Red Sox lost their lead on the division, then their hold on second place and are treading water in third… June was a lifetime ago. A hot Aug broke their backs.
The Indians (soon the Guardians) are 6-4 over their last ten games.  Logging 4 Overs, 5 Unders and 1 Push.  Don’t let recent success on the schedule fool you. They are .500 on the season but the fans know this is a losing team that will finish with a losing record. Sep will hit very soon and the Indians are already looking to the offseason. For the right price you can have anyone on the roster.  They will put a lot of recent call ups on the mound in hopes of having a better Jun and Jul next season.  

Offensive Analysis

The Boston Red Sox offense is 3rd in batting average .259, 4th in runs scored 661, and 8th in home runs 171.  The offense is loaded with cold blooded killers. If they still had Mookie Betts and Mookie was still playing well they could overcome the rough pitching.  A team 2nd in slugging percentage shouldn’t be this far out of first place in their division.

The Cleveland Indians (soon to be Guardians) are 21st in batting average .237, 18th in runs scored 561, and 11th in home runs 164…  if we throw in walks, they dip.  BB 26th with 361 on the season.  The Indians are a bad hitting team. You can’t deny that.. Also they are in a weaker division, you can’t deny that.. Also they are the Cleveland Indians.

Defensive Analysis

The Boston Red Sox pitchers are 15th in ERA 4.29, 6th in strikeouts 1220, and 25th in WHIP 1.39.  That low ranking in WHIP is because the bullpen keeps letting them down.  The Red Sox have a lot of great numbers but play in a top heavy division with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.  They won’t escape third place, they will have a solid foundation to build on.

The Cleveland Indians pitchers are 18th in ERA 4.39, 15th in strikeouts 1126, and 14th in WHIP 1.29.  They have a starting rotation that needs to add an Ace in the offseason.   If they can’t get an Ace maybe they could get a couple Cal Quantrill types.  Either way they are a starter short of keeping up with the opponents.

Red Sox vs Indians Prediction

The Red Sox will start Tanner Houck 0-3, 3.43 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched.  Tanner is a 25 year old guy who is very green in the Majors.  He has strength, speed, and some accuracy.. He is dominating the strikeout per inning pitched category… he is just not winning. When greenhorns need wins usually you point to the lack of run support… but here he has plenty of run support.  He debuted last year and has amassed a 3-3 career record in 56 innings. He is brought out/up whenever the Sox are looking to develop him.  His presence in the rotation is a signal the Sox know success in this season is out of their reach.  

The Indians will start Eli Morgan 2-6, 5.98 ERA 59 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched.  Apparently the Indians (soon to be Guardians) are worried about Tanner Houck’s development too.  They have gifted Tanner an easy win. Sure, this isn’t 1st place Bos at Fenway Park, but still it isn’t the previous season when Boston collapsed. Why the Indians would concede defense is mind-boggling. This Red Sox team will sniff out a 5.98 ERA and knock the ball into September if for no other reason than to make some highlights.

My MLB Red Sox vs Indians Prediction is Red Sox 8 Indians 3

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MLB Betting Trends

The Red Sox are 74-56 on the moneyline… and since this is a road game they are 33-30 on the road.  Their O/U on the road is 24-35-3 with a decided advantage toward the Under.  

The Indians are 63-63 on the moneyline… and since this is a home game they are 34-29 at home. They are 5 games better at home than on the road. The O/U at home is 32-28-2.  We have pitted two diametrically opposite forces in the O/U .
The Red Sox play well with the Under on the road, the Indians play well with the Over at home… The Red Sox will win but they may have to log an Over.

Key Injuries

Red Sox: C. Arroyo 3B Out indefinitely, E Hernandez 2B Out indefinitely, H Renfroe Out indefinitely
Indians: E Clement SS Out Indefinitely, T McKenzie P (shoulder) Out, H Ramirez RF Out

Players to Watch

Red Sox:  Xander Bogaerts is 12th in the league in batting average .299, he can’t possibly be happy with being a hit away from averaging +300.  If you add in teammates Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers you have 3 of the top 50 batters in the league (by average).  If you need a power hitter to watch, look to Christian Vazquez who boasts a .644 OPS for 7th in the league!

Indians: Amed Rosario is 27th in batting average .285 (just behind Nicky Lopez of the Kansas City Royals).  It’s such a small separation but still nowhere near .300. Cleveland Indians Tickets will be available with a huge selection of the best seats… because they have no one fun to watch specifically.

Notable Quotes

“I was actually sleeping in the hotel when they called,....They called at around one just to let me know I had to get up in a hurry and get luggage real quick and get to the stadium as fast as possible, get on that bus to get over here. Yeah, everything happened really quick.”  -  Red Sox Jonathan Aruaz (through an interpreter) on being called up from the minors in rapid fashion to replace Kike Hernandez who tested positive for Covid.  Jonathan responded with a 3 run home run.

“Well, obviously, this is a really tough decision for us,...James has proven to be not only effective but special and especially effective. But it’s the nature of the beast and the nature of the game that guys go through struggles at times. He seems to have not been himself for a little while now, in terms of some of the pitch profiles we’ve seen -- which, obviously, leads to results that we’re not accustomed to seeing, as well. So, at the end of the day, the decision was made with the basis and foundation of what’s best for James Karinchak and how can we get James Karinchak back to [being] himself.” -Indians pitching coach Carl Willis on sending James Karinchak back to the minors.

Starting Lineups

Red Sox
J. Duran, CF
K. Schwarber, LF
J. Martinez, DH
X. Bogaerts, SS
R. Devers, 3B
A. Verdugo, RF
C. Vazquez, C
T. Shaw, 1B
J. Arauz, 2B
N. Eovaldi, SP

M. Straw, CF
A. Rosario, SS
J. Ramirez, 3B
F. Reyes, DH
B. Zimmer, RF
B. Bradley, 1B
A. Hedges, C
D. Johnson, LF
A. Gimenez, 2B
C. Quantrill, SP

Statistical Leaders

Red Sox
Batting Average:  Xander Bogaerts (.299)
Home Runs:  Rafael Devers (30)
RBI:  Rafael Devers  (94)
Stolen Bases:  Christian Vazquez  (8)
Wins:  Eduardo Rodriguez (10)
Saves:  Matt Barnes (24)
ERA:  Nathan Eovaldi (3.72)

Batting Average:  Amed Rosario (.287)
Hits:  Amed Rosario
Home Runs:  Jose Ramirez (30)
RBI:  Jose Ramirez (81)
Wins: Aaron Civale (10)
Saves:  Emmanuel Clase (18)
ERA:  Shane Bieber (3.28)
Red Sox:  Alex Cora
Indians:  Terry Francona

Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy, warm and humid with a chance of rain and thunderstorms.  Wind SSE 5 mph, with gusts up to 10 mph.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

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