The first full weekend is in the books and teams are starting to get back in the groove. For the Boston Red Sox (1-3), they are trying to bounce back after a disastrous early series with the Seattle Mariners and will look to David Price (0-0) to get them on track. For the Oakland Athletics (3-3), who will actually be playing their third series after starting the year off in Japan playing the Mariners, they will look to Aaron Brooks (0-0) to start off the series. Brooks, who is 28, is opening on the big league team for the first time in his career as he has made just 18 starts over 3 seasons. Monday’s game will be played at the Coliseum in Oakland with first pitch scheduled for 10:07 pm ET.
The moneyline for Monday’s game is set at the Boston Red Sox -140 and the Oakland Athletics +120. The over/under on runs scored is set at 8.
Red Sox Looking For A Better Second Series
After losing 3 of the first 4, including a 10-8 loss to the Mariners on Sunday, the Boston Red Sox are already happy to see a new month upon us, as March did not treat them well. In the loss on Sunday, the two stalwarts of the Red Sox offense both did damage in Mookie Betts and JD Martinez. Betts went 1 for 4 with a home run and 2 runs scored while JD Martinez went 2 for 3 with a home run, 4 runs batted in and 3 runs scored.
Still, if the Red Sox want to win some games, they are going to need their pitching staff to perform better, as they gave up 34 runs in the 4 games. Enter David Price. The lefty, who the last time we saw was dominating in the postseason, will be making his first start of the season. A virus in spring training slowed Price, which is why he was held out until the fifth game of the season. Last season, Price was 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.142 WHIP. In 176 innings, Price had 177 strikeouts, 50 walks and gave up 25 home runs on the season.
Oakland Looks To Brooks In Opener Against Red Sox
On the offensive side for Oakland, there are some players who have had success against David Price in their careers. Khris Davis is 3 for 9 against him with a home run and 4 runs batted in while Robbie Grossman is batting .273 in 11 at bats with a home run and a run batted in. The person who has seen him the most, though, is newly acquired Kendry Morales, who has 26 at bats against the southpaw, hitting .231 with a home run and 2 runs batted in.
Through 6 games, the leader of the A’s offense has probably been Khris Davis. While Marcus Semien (.409), Matt Chapman (.364) and Robbie Grossman (.286) have all had higher batting averages, Khris Davis (who is hitting .250/.308/.750 with a 1.058 OPS), has 4 home runs and 8 runs batted in to date. Mind you, those 4 home runs are 4 of 6 hits for the Oakland slugger.
More Trust In Price Than Brooks
This one comes down to the pitching matchup for me. While David Price has been slowed this preseason due to health issues, he is still a better bet than Aaron Brooks. No offense to Brooks, who has had a respectable spring, there is something about a 8.01 ERA that isn’t overly inspiring. Add the fact that even though they are preventing runs very well, the Red Sox are still putting up runs (scored 24 in the first 4 games), and it could be a long night for the Oakland hurler. For my money, I am taking the favorites in this one and betting the Red Sox at -140.