After taking two out of three from the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox will look to continue their ascent in the AL East when they travel to Minnesota for a three-game series against the Twins. Boston will send James Paxton (2-1, 3.09 ERA) to the mound, while the Twins will counter with Pablo Lopez (3-3, 4.27 ERA). First pitch from Target Field is set for 7:40 p.m. ET.
Minnesota is the -135 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Red Sox are +115 underdogs. The total is set at 8.
Red Sox-Twins picks: Monday, June 19
Out: SP Tanner Houck (facial fracture), RP John Schreiber (right teres major strain), RP Joely Rodriguez (left shoulder inflammation), INF Yu Chang (left hamate fracture), RP Richard Bleier (left shoulder inflamation), SS Trevor Story (right UCL surgery)
Day to day: Michael A. Taylor (head contusion)
Out: RP Jorge Lopez (mental health), SP Kenta Maeda (right triceps strain), 2B Jorge Polanco (left hamstring strain), RP Caleb Thielbar (right oblique strain), RP Cole Sands (right shoulder impingement)
James Paxton vs. Pablo Lopez
After missing almost all of the past two seasons due to a variety of injuries, Paxton is back and better than ever for the Red Sox, as he’s tallied a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings across six starts this season. His fastball velocity is back to its pre-injury highs (96 mph), while his curveball (.200 batting average against) and changeup (.167) look just as dangerous. He currently ranks in the 94th percentile in strikeout rate and the 90th percentile in whiff rate.
After a strong start to the season, Lopez has begun to falter as of late, as he’s allowed 4+ earned runs in three of his last four starts. That said, the one start where he didn’t allow four runs was a seven-inning gem against the powerhouse Tampa Bay Rays. Lopez will be pitching on an extra day’s rest after Twins manager Rocco Baldelli elected to have a bullpen day during one of the Twins’ games against the Detroit Tigers over the weekend. Even with his struggles, Lopez still has some strong advanced statistics, as he ranks in the 80th percentile or higher in expected bating average, strikeout rate and expected ERA.
Tonight’s game features a resurgent pitcher (Paxton) against a guy who is looking to come out of the other side of a rough patch (Lopez). I’m expecting them to trade zeroes tonight.
Pick: Under 8
It’s tough to bet against the Paxton and the Red Sox. They’re in the midst of a four-game winning streak, and are playing near .500 ball on the road this season. I like their value as a slight underdog.
Pick: Red Sox