MLB Baseball: Cleveland Indians Vs Boston Red Sox Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/04/2021

by Big Al Staff

MLB Baseball:  Cleveland Indians Vs Boston Red Sox Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/04/2021

Game Time: 4:10 pm ET, Friday, September 04, 2021
Venue: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Where to Watch:  NESN, Bally Sports Great Lakes



Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Red Sox -190, Indians +160; Over/Under:  9 runs


Season Record

Indians: 67-64, 2nd place AL Central
Red Sox:  77-59, 3rd place AL East  

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Cleveland Indians vs Boston Red Sox Preview and Analysis


Recent Form
The Indians are 7-3 over their last 10 games. Recording 4 Overs, 5 Unders and 1 Push.  (we are talking Indians vs Red Sox Game 2.  For game 1 we predicted a Red  Sox win, which hasn’t played yet) The Indians are carrying a 4 game win streak into a series of head to head meetings with the Red Sox.  The streak will stop.  The American League is good for one thing… The Red Sox are supposed to beat the Indians. The AL East is hotly contested the AL Central is not.  These are teams of two different classes.
The Red Sox are 6-4 over their last ten games.  Logging 5 Overs and 5 Unders. Went 2-2 against the Tampa Bay Rays (owners of the second-best ATS record in the majors.. Also solid on the money line) at Tropicana Field, 2-1 against THESE Cleveland Indians, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins.  They bucked the Rays odds and stayed alive against the Yankees for now. 
We give no warranties on my predictions but newsrooms and betting services agree the Red Sox “for entertainment purposes” are favored. 

Offensive Analysis

The Indians are 16th in runs scored per game (4.47), 21st in batting average (.237), and 23rd in OBP (.305)... all these numbers suggest that if they get into any version of the postseason they will be outclassed.  They have five weeks to find something electric either in their lineup or their bullpen… but even then they couldn’t change these numbers enough.
The Red Sox are 5th in runs per game (5.02), 3rd in batting average (.259), and 8th in OBP (.325).  Those are seriously respectable numbers. And still the Tampa Bay Rays and NY Yankees will hold them down.  For Boston it has been the same all year.  Can they pitch as well as they hit…. So far, the answer is no.

Defensive Analysis

The Indians are 17th in team ERA 4.34, 16th in strikeouts 1160, 14th in WHIP 1.28.  From the mound they are the very definition of average which mirrors their record in averageness… which also gives explanation to their tendencies this season to feast on below .500 teams and struggle against the big boys.  Average is a good jumping off point for next season.  You hold on to what you like… you jettison the rest.  You sign a few free agents and you call up your top performers from the minor league system.  At least that is what you would do if you were a team with expectations in major league baseball.  If you're Cleveland you probably are happy with average.
The Red Sox are 16th in team ERA 4.31, 26th in WHIP, and 7th in strikeouts 1254.  They are all over the map.  Striking guys out or giving up bases to batters.  They are not helping the offense out any.   They spent most of the MLB season as strong contenders for the World Series… and in previous seasons these offensive numbers would whip the fans into a frenzy.  They picked absolutely the wrong time and place to have a down season in pitching.  


Indians vs Red Sox Prediction

The Prediction for Saturday, September 4th is …. Red Sox 8  Indians 1
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MLB Betting Trends

The Indians are 4-0 in their last 4 games as an underdog.
The Indians are 4-0in their last 4 games on grass/
The Indians are 6-2 in their last 8 games when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in previous game.
The Red Sox are 7-2 in their last 9 home games.
The Red Sox are 26-10 in their last 36 games as home favorite.
The Red Sox are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite.

Key Injuries

Indians:  Wilson Ramos C, (60day IL) Out
Red Sox:  Xander Bogaerts  SS, (Covid) Out;  Enrique Hernandez CF (Covid) Out

Players to Watch

Pitching!  Both clubs need strong outings to get in a groove as they race toward the season finale in 5 short weeks!  
The Indians will start right handed pitcher Eli Morgan 2-6, 5.98 ERA, 61 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched.  The 25 year old Gonzaga product with the Joker smile has 10 BB in his last 7 games and has given up 30 hits with 18 Earned runs. He isn’t a fantasy baseball candidate.  He needs to find some accuracy.  In Eli’s last outing against Boston he gave up 2 earned runs in 3 innings.
The Red Sox will give the first pitch to Tanner Houck, a righty, 0-3, 3.63 ERA, 55 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched, 1.21 WHIP.  This is hardly Nathan Eovaldi vs Cal Quantrill.  Both clubs are going with a nobody starter in game 2 of the series.  You won’t run to Twitter with a full list of highlights, but the winner of this matchup will decide the fate of the series.  

Notable Quotes

"He went down (to the minors) and made adjustments. When he returned you could see those adjustments. He's continued to grow into a major league pitcher."  -Acting manager DeMarlo Hale for Cleveland.  About pitcher Triston McKenzie who helped extend Cleveland’s winning streak to 4 with a win over Kansas City.
"It was a good day today,...Nothing to report. Guys are feeling OK, feeling better. Now we've just got to be patient."  -Alex Cora, Red Sox manager, about winning the last game against the Rays.

Starting Lineups

M. Straw, CF
A. Rosario, SS
J. Ramirez, 3B
F. Reyes, DH
H. Ramirez, LF
Y. Chang, 1B
O. Miller, 2B
R. Lavarnway, C
O. Mercado, RF
T. McKenzie, SP
Red Sox:
H. Renfroe, RF
K. Schwarber, DH
J. Martinez, LF
R. Devers, 3B
B. Dalbec, 1B
C. Vazquez, C
D. Santana, CF
J. Lopez, 2B
J. Arauz, SS
E. Rodriguez, SP

Statistical Leaders

Cleveland Indians:
Batting Average:  Willy Adames (.293)
Hits:  Avisail Garcia (105)
Home Runs:  Avisail Garcia (24)
RBI:  Avisail Garcia (73)
Stolen Bases:  Kolten Wong (9)
Wins:  Brent Suter (12)
Saves:  Josh Hader (26)
ERA:  Corbin Burnes (2.13)
Red Sox:
Batting Average:  Xander Bogaerts (.298)
Hits:  JD Martinez (137)
Home Runs:  R Devers (32)
RBI:  R Devers (97)
Wins: N. Eovaldi (10)
Saves:  Matt Barnes (24)
ERA: N. Eovaldi  (3.71)
Indians:  Terry Francona
Red Sox:  Alex Cora

Weather Forecast

Sunny, 80* for the high, Humidity 52%, Wind 11 mph, Buy some Dogecoin.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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