The Red Sox have won seven of their last 8 games behind a surging offense that is averaging 5.7 runs per game over the last ten days. Boston’s lineup collectively hit .441 with an American League-best ten triples during June (.810 OPS since June 12).
Boston now faces Miami right-hander Tom Koehler, who takes the hill with a 3.52 ERA and 1.23 WHIP this season. However, Koehler has imploded on the road where he owns a 5.77 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in eight starts (32/17 K/BB ratio in 43.7 IP). More importantly, Koehler’s underlying metrics target him as a prime regression candidate:
Tom Koehler’s 2015 Metrics:
- 4.42 FIP & 4.26 xFIP (3.03 BB/9; 11.8% FB/HR)
- 5.30 FIP & 4.48 xFIP on the road (3.50 BB/9)
- 4.31 FIP in June (1.63 HR/9; .267 BABIP; 87.0% LOB%
In short, Koehler has been incredibly lucky this season based upon an unsustainable .265 BABIP. Now, many of you are probably screaming at the top of your lungs that Boston starter Rick Porcello has been an unqualified disaster this season, going 4-9 with a 6.08 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. In his last eight starts, Porcello is 0-7 with an 8.18 ERA and owns an 11.08 ERA and 2.07 WHIP in his last three outings. However, Porcello’s surface statistics only tell part of the story:
Rick Porcello’s 2015 Metrics:
- 3.90 SIERA in 2015
- .328 BABIP & 63.8% LOB%
- 3.76 FIP & 3.95 xFIP at home (62.8% LOB%)
- 3.18 FIP & 3.69 xFIP in June (0.59 HR/9; .364 BABIP; 59.2% LOB%
Based on his underlying metrics, Porcello has deserved a better fate in 2015. Unlike Koehler, Porcello has suffered from incredibly bad luck as evidenced by his 62.8% LOB% at home and .364 BABIP and 59.2% LOB% in June. Those numbers are off-the-charts unlucky, and I expect Porcello’s surface stats to improve throughout ther second half of the season.
Porcello is also supported by a solid Boston bullpen that owns a 3.70 ERA and 1.30 WHIP at night and a 2.45 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in interleague play. In contrast, Miami’s relief staff owns a 4.42 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the road and a 6.07 ERA and 1.58 WHIP against American League East opposition.
From a technical standpoint, Miami is a money-burning 2-10 in its last twelve road games, 1-10 in its last 11 games as an interleague underdog, 0-8 in its last 8 interleague road games and 8-21 in its last 29 games as an underdog. Conversely, the Red Sox are 84-36 in interleague home games, 62-27 interleague games versus teams with a losing record, 64-28 versus National League East opposition, 65-24 versus interleague right-handed starters and 48-18 in interleague home games versus .499 or worse opponents. Take Boston as Oskeim Sports free premium Best Bet winner and invest with confidence.
Boston is Surging: On June 20, the Red Sox were ten games out of first place and speculation was rampant within the locker room and inside the offices of upper management that manager John Farrell was going to be fired.
Now, less than three weeks later, Boston sits only five games out of first place and the team’s morale is at an all-time high. “I remember we were playing pretty tough baseball, but lately we’ve been playing really good and definitely the momentum, the vibe and everything in the clubhouse has changed,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said.
Oskeim Sports Free Premium Best Bet: Boston Red Sox