The opening weekend of the unofficial second half of the MLB season wraps up Sunday with a full slate that includes a doubleheader between the Yankees and Red Sox. Get analysis on all of today's games as well as tips on weather, umpires, and other betting trends with our daily MLB Line Drive.
Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals (+120, 8.5)
The Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals meet for the third game of their three-game series to open the second half of the season. The first two games of this series were low scoring and went Under the closing total - just like, seemingly, every meeting between these two teams in recent history.
Today will be the seventh head-to-head meeting between the Rangers and Royals in 2017 with all of the previous six finishing Under the number. If you go all of the way back to the start of the 2013 season, the Under is 25-4-3 in the 32 meetings between these two teams.
Both starting pitchers for this afternoon's game are also on Under streaks with Rangers' starting pitcher Yu Darvish hitting Unders at 11-1-1 over his last 13 starts and Royals' Ian Kennedy cashing the Under in three of his last four starts against the Rangers.
The average total runs per game in Darvish starts this season is only 6.25 in eight road starts with totals bettors seeing an average of 7.86 runs per game in Kennedy's seven outings at home in 2017.
We're riding the wave of Unders in games involving these two teams again Sunday afternoon.
Pick: Under 8.5
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox - Game 2 (-150, 8.5)
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox collide for the final game of their four-game weekend series at Fenway Park on Sunday night. The two teams split the first two games, with Saturday night's thriller needing 16 innings (and an official Red Sox protest) to decide an eventual Yankees' 4-1 win, and will also meet Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of this day/night doubleheader.
Tonight's game features a pair of starting pitchers who are both trying to find themselves for their respective clubs.
Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball for the Yanks and to say that his 2017 season has been inconsistent would be a massive understatement. He's either been really, really bad or virtually unhittable so far this season and although he seemed to get things figured out over the last month, a bad start heading into the All-Star break against the Milwaukee Brewers could spin the Yankees' ace back out of control. Tanaka owns a 6.24 ERA on the road this season and things won't get any easier tonight in Boston.
The Sox will counter with lefty David Price and he has been just average since returning from the DL with his injured left elbow. In nine starts this season he owns an ERA of 3.91 and a total runs per game in his starts of 9.44. Since joining the Red Sox prior to last season, Price has really had his struggles against the Bronx Bombers. In six starts versus the Yankees over the last two seasons he has a team win/loss record of 2-4 with an ERA of 8.31 and a WHIP of 1.8129.
The Yankees/Red Sox rivalry is back on Sunday Night Baseball and this one is shaping up like another four and a half hour marathon with plenty of scoring...just like we like our games between Boston and New York.
Pick: Over 8.5
Yesterday's Picks: 2-0
Season To Date: 89-77-8
For more FREE picks and analysis head over to our Free Picks page on Covers Experts.
Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
Streaking: Rich Hill (5-4, 3.69 ERA, $-97)
You can forgive baseball fans if they view the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation as Clayton Kershaw and everyone else, because the 29-year-old is incredible. But that doesn’t mean he is the only Dodgers pitcher putting work in lately. Alex Wood is sitting at 11-0 and after struggling with a blister on his finger Rich Hill has started to look like the pitcher the Dodgers signed to a three-year, $48 million contract in December.
Over his last two starts, Hill is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA, 0.50 WHIP and he has only walked one to go along with 20 strikeouts.
Hill and the Dodgers are -168 road favorites against the Marlins this afternoon.
Slumping: Derek Holland (5-9, 5.01, $-242)
Chicago White Sox lefty Derek Holland is coming off a dreadful outing where he allowed seven earned run in only four innings of work against the Colorado Rockies. Over his last two starts (both losses), Holland owns a mighty 11.57 ERA, 1.8214 WHIP, and has given up three home runs.
One interesting trend for bettors to keep an eye on is Holland’s totals, for the year the Over is 11-5-1, 10-3 in his last 13 and in night games the Over has cashed in seven of 10 starts.
Holland and the White Sox are +112 home dogs against the Mariners tonight.
Sunday's Top Trends
* Under is 11-1 in Marco Estrada's last 12 starts vs. American League Central. Blue Jays/Tigers Total: 10.
* The Colorado Rockies are 3-13 in their last 16 road games. +105 today @ Mets.
* The Arizona Diamondbacks are 3-13 in their last 16 road games vs. a left-handed starter. -110 today @ Garcia and the Braves.
* Under is 25-4-3 in the 32 meetings between Texas and Kansas City. Rangers/Royals Total: 8.5.
Weather To Keep An Eye On
There is a chance of some thunderstorms at first pitch this afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit where the Blue Jays are in town. It might cause the first pitch to be delayed, things are expected to clean up in the evening so it might be a long day at the ball park for these teams.
There is a 13-16 mile per hour wind blowing towards right field for this afternoon’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The total is currently at 9.5. There will also be a strong hitter’s wind at Oakland Coliseum for tonight’s game between the Indians and Athletics. The total is currently at 8.5. The Giants and Padres will enjoy a 10-12 mile per hour wind blowing out to right-center this afternoon and the total for that game is set at 7.5.
Ump Of The Day
Ryan Blakney will be calling balls and strikes this afternoon at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta and that isn’t good news for Braves fans. When Blakney comes to town home fans tend to leave the ball park grumpy.
The road team has won six straight games Blakney has been behind home plate and through the first half of the season are 3-9. He currently sits 90th of 91 umpires in home team win percentage.
A blind bet of $100 on the home team on each of those 12 starts would have cost bettors $-926 so far this season.
The Braves are -105 underdogs this afternoon against the Diamondbacks.
Sunday's Top Consensus
Here are the top side and total play according to our Covers Consensus.