Cards Hope to Turn Season Around Against Red Sox

Red Sox vs Cardinals Odds Have Boston as +105 Series Favorite

The Boston Red Sox visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday (8:15 p.m. ET) to open a three-game series at Busch Stadium.

Boston is -1.5 (+145) on the run line and -115 on the moneyline for the opener, with St. Louis -105 to win outright. Meanwhile, the projected total is 8 with a slight edge to the Over at -115 odds.

The Cardinals are -135 favorites to win the series, compared to +105 for the Red Sox.

What should bettors expect? Read on as we break down both teams and assess the Red Sox vs Cardinals odds in our MLB series preview.

Red Sox logo Boston Red Sox vs St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals logo

Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Streaming: ESPN

Red Sox vs Cardinals Betting Trends

The Boston Red Sox are 19-25 against the run line, including just 2-11 over their last 13 games. Boston’s 43.2% cover rate is among the lowest in MLB, ahead of only Texas (42.2%), San Francisco (42.2%) and Miami (33.3%). The Red Sox have also been difficult to trust against the Over/Under, going 15-26-3.

Conversely, the St. Louis Cardinals are 20-23. That includes 2-9 over their last 11 games. St. Louis has also been difficult for Over/Under bettors to trust, going 18-23-2.

That’s important to remember when assessing the Red Sox vs Cardinals odds.

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 Middle of the Road

Boston has hit the skids of late, going 3-6 over its last nine games to fall back to .500. At 22-22, the Red Sox are fourth in the American League East, 7.5 games behind the Yankees.

Injuries have been an obstacle, with Brayan Bello (back tightness) and Nick Pivetta (flexor strain) both spending time on the injured list. While both have returned, the Red Sox are still without first baseman Triston Casas (back). That’s put strain on their lineup, which ranks middle-of-the-pack in terms of production.

The Red Sox went 3-4 on their recent homestand, which culminated with losing three of four to Tampa Bay. They are just 5-9 in May.

Despite that, the Red Sox remain on pace to surpass their projected win total of 77.5. They are only +340 to make the AL playoffs, though those odds can improve in a hurry with the expanded wild card. Their plus-29 run differential offers some encouragement.

Curiously, Boston has played better on the road (12-9) compared to at home (10-13). They have an opportunity to build on that with nine of their next 12 games away from Fenway Park.

Slow Start, Slow Finish?

At 18-25, the St. Louis Cardinals standing is among baseball’s biggest disappointments. The Cardinals are just 3-7 over their last 10 games and 4-9 in May. They lost seven straight games between May 4-11.

The struggles of Paul Goldschmidt (4 HR, .591 OPS) and Nolan Arenado (3 HR, .683 OPS) remain an issue. With both players aged 33 or older, there are questions about how soon they’ll bounce back.

St. Louis has scored the third-fewest runs (155) in baseball and is tied for last in homers (32) with the White Sox. The Cardinals are also just 24th in team average (.225).

Projected for 84.5 wins, the Cardinals may have a hard time matching expectations. Sitting last place in the National League Central, 8.0 games behind Milwaukee, the Cardinals already are +320 longshots to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, their division odds are just +900.

The Cardinals have also lacked stability on the mound. Their 4.39 ERA ranks 23rd in the majors. Again, there are concerns about age with the likes of Kyle Gibson (36), Lance Lynn (37) and Miles Mikolas (35). Be sure to keep that in mind when analyzing the Red Sox vs Cardinals odds.

 Series Probables

Game 1

Friday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Brayan Bello vs Kyle Gibson

Bello returned to the rotation last Sunday after missing three weeks with back tightness. He threw five innings in a 3-2 win over Washington, allowing two runs on four hits over 68 pitches. Presumably, his pitch count will be higher in his next start.

The 25-year-old right-hander — who signed a $55 million extension in March — is 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA.

The Cardinals will counter with Gibson, who is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA. Gibson has allowed two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts. He threw a season-high 104 pitches last Saturday in a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee, per MLB box scores.

Game 2

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET

Kutter Crawford vs Miles Mikolas

Crawford has gotten off to a strong start, recording a 2.24 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over his first nine appearances. Most impressively, he has allowed only two home runs in 52.1 innings.

He will face Mikolas, who is 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA. Mikolas has given up 12 runs over 16 innings this month, though he won his last start (6 innings, 3 ER in 4-3 win over Milwaukee on Sunday). He has gone longer than six innings just once.

Game 3

Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET

Nick Pivetta vs Matthew Liberatore

Pivetta has been limited to only four starts because of a right elbow flexor strain. The right-hander returned from the injured list on May 8, allowing five runs over four innings in a 5-0 loss to Atlanta. Despite that, Pivetta’s overall numbers (3.48 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) remain strong.

Liberatore, meanwhile, has a 4.56 ERA across 15 appearances (two starts). The 24-year-old southpaw has worked mainly in relief, though he’s now being used as an opener in baseball games.

For MLB predictions today, betting analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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