Red Sox vs Rangers Betting Preview: Can Eovaldi Curb September Struggles?

Coming Off IL, Eovaldi Posted 7.71 ERA

The Texas Rangers need to rebound after falling back into a tie for the last wild card spot in the American League. That’ll be largely up to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who draws the start for Texas in the middle game of its three-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

Texas is -1.5 (+130) on the run line and a -162 favorite to win outright, while Boston is +1.5 (-155) on the run line and +136 on the moneyline. The projected total is 8.5 (-118 Over, -102 Under).

Can the Rangers take care of business? Read on as we break down Tuesday’s game in our Red Sox vs Rangers betting preview.

Red Sox logo Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Rangers logo

Location: Globe Life Field; Arlington, Texas
Probables: Tanner Houck (5-9, 4.94 ERA) vs Nathan Eovaldi (11-4, 2.96)

Betting Trends

The total has gone Over in 13 of the Texas Rangers’ last 16 games. Conversely, the total has gone Under in the Boston Red Sox’s last five road games. For the MLB season, Texas is 79-71 against the run line, while Boston is 75-76. That’s important to remember when assessing the odds in our Red Sox vs Rangers betting preview.

Texas Fading

A pivotal series got off to a rocky start for Texas, which fell 4-2 to Boston on Monday to drop to 82-68. In the process, the Rangers, losers of four straight, fell into a virtual tie with Seattle for the third and final wild card spot in the American League.

Texas, a -158 moneyline favorite, grabbed a quick lead when second baseman Marcus Semien homered on the first pitch. But reliever Will Smith gave up three runs in the eighth inning as the Rangers opened their final homestand with a thud.

By virtue of that loss, Texas saw its odds of making the postseason drop from -300 to -180. The Rangers are also now +300 to win the AL West, despite remaining just 1.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros with 12 games to play, according to baseball scores.

Third baseman Josh Jung (left thumb fracture) and outfielder Adolis Garcia (right patellar tendon sprain) both returned from the 10-day injured list. But the Rangers’ bats remained silent, producing only five hits. They’ve plated three or fewer runs in all four games of their losing streak.

Another issue has been the bullpen. Since Aug. 1, Rangers relievers have produced a 5.26 ERA between the seventh and ninth innings. Keep that in mind when evaluating the Red Sox vs Rangers betting preview odds.

Red Sox Remain Pesky

Can the Red Sox continue to play spoiler? That’s essentially all that’s left for Boston at this point.

At 75-76, Boston is sitting last place in the AL East. It’s just 3-7 over its last 10 games, but Boston bucked that trend Monday thanks to an inspiring comeback. The Red Sox, a +143 underdog, produced two hits off Smith, including left fielder Rob Refsnyder’s two-run, go-ahead single.

After taking the lead in the eighth inning, relievers Garrett Whitlock and Chris Martin combined to shut the door on Texas. In doing so, the Red Sox improved to 37-38 on the road and 48-50 against teams above .500.

Third baseman Rafael Devers chipped in two hits and stole his fourth bag of the season. Devers, who remains among the MLB stat leaders with 33 home runs and 98 RBI, is still the most feared hitter in Boston’s lineup. But he’s gotten help, particularly from first baseman Triston Casas (24 homers, .857 OPS) and rookie left fielder Masataka Yoshida (15 homers, .338 on-base percentage).

Handicapping the Game

Texas has been scuffling. There’s no way around it. But with ace Max Scherzer (teres major strain) now sidelined for the season, it presumably has the pitcher it wants on the mound.

Eovaldi was among the frontrunners from AL Cy Young before missing all of August with a right forearm strain. Since returning from the IL, he hasn’t been the same. He’s 0-1 with an unsightly 7.71 ERA in three starts this month. That said, based on what Eovaldi’s (11-4, 2.96 ERA) done for the bulk of this season, it is reasonable to expect him to bounce back and help Texas cover the MLB point spread.

For MLB betting news, odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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