Detroit Tigers (8-9) at Boston Red Sox (6-10)
March 12th, 2019 1:05 PM ET (JetBlue Park at Fenway South)
Spread: Boston Red Sox -174
Free MLB Pick Boston Red Sox vs Detroit Tigers
The Tigers and Red Sox will square off in a Grapefruit League matchup at JetBlue Park in Fort Meyers, FL. The weather should be perfect for the first pitch, sitting somewhere around 80 degrees. The Tigers are coming in as an underdog with the better record this Spring Training, but the Red Sox are certainly the better team. The probable pitchers for this matchup are Daniel Morris for DET and David Price for BOS.
Detroit will be looking to improve over last year’s horrid 64-win season. However, a lot of experts including FanGraphs, predicts Detroit will finish in the cellar of the AL Central once again this year. This once-great team is now bogged down by big contracts and aging players. Outside of Miguel Cabrera there is not a whole lot to get excited over. Nick Castellanos had a decent 2018 season hitting 23 home runs to go along with a .298 average. The front office wasn’t very active, only signing the likes of Jordy Mercer, Matt Moore and Tyson Ross.
The Tigers are expected to be without Nick Castellanos after taking a pitch to his left hand on Sunday. The X-Rays came back negative, but he isn’t expected back until after Wednesday’s off day. Outfielder Christian Stewart has been looking solid so far this spring with two home runs and seven RBI’s. Stewart has some good power potential and should continue to see regular playing time. 2B Niko Goodrum has been exceptional this spring as well, slashing an impressive line of .407/.448/.704 in 27 at-bats. This Tigers lineup is nothing special, but they do have a few promising young players that should see a lot of quality playing time moving forward.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are coming off a historic 2018 season, having the AL MVP (Betts), winning the AL East, wining the Pennant, and most importantly winning the World Series. Following such an impressive 2018 season, Boston lost very few players in the offseason and will come into 2019 looking just as strong. The only big question that is circling around is about the bullpen and the late inning relief. Joe Kelly was lost to the Dodgers and Craig Kimbrel entered free agency. Relief pitching certainly looks to be the Achilles heel for this team moving forward. On the offensive side, this team needs no help whatsoever. They ranked near the top in every hitting category in 2018 and will return a lethal lineup in 2019.
This spring hasn’t looked very strong for the reigning champions, but a lot of their star players in this lineup have seen limited action. However, in that limited action, Betts, Martinez, Benintendi and Bogearts are hitting a combined .161 with only one home run. I wouldn’t look too much into that as these guys are proven players with no need to go all out or compete for their spots in Spring Training games. The one lone bright spot for this club so far in this spring has been Michael Chavis, who’s hit four home runs and ten RBI’s. This ball club needs no second look as they will almost certainly be competing for another championship and will be looking to defend their 2018 title.
The Tigers are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 games
Free MLB Pick Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox
The Tigers have some nice young players that have impressed this spring, but they will be without one of their top bats in Castellanos for this matchup. With that kind of blow to the lineup, I am expecting the Red Sox to get off this 5-game losing skid and take a good win against this below .500 Tigers squad.
PICK: BOSTON RED SOX -174