Guardians vs Red Sox Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Tonight’s MLB Game

The Guardians are due for regression as the injuries mount up, but the Red Sox are just as hobbled. Our MLB betting picks believe Cleveland will knock Boston down below the .500 mark tonight.

Apr 17, 2024 • 13:23 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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There are 16 games on the MLB betting board this Wednesday, with the final clash taking place between the Cleveland Guardians and the Boston Red Sox. Both teams have been hit hard by injuries but have stayed competitive, with the Guardians atop the AL Central with a 12-5 record while the BoSox are 9-9. 

Cleveland took the first two contests in this four-game series but the Red Sox are expected to bounce back tonight with MLB odds installing them as -130 home favorites. Here are my best free Guardians vs. Red Sox predictions and MLB picks for Wednesday, April 17.

Guardians vs Red Sox prediction

My best bet
Guardians moneyline (+110 at bet365)

My analysis

Looking at this matchup, I kind of wish I could fade both teams. The Cleveland Guardians are fifth in the majors in runs per game (5.71) but are just 26th in barrel rate and 28th in hard hit rate, which suggests that regression is on the horizon. The main reason the Guardians are off to a strong start this season has been their formidable pitching, but they'll have the mediocre Ben Lively on the mound tonight.

This is the season debut for Lively, who pitched to a 5.38 ERA with an OBA of .270 in 88.2 innings with the Reds last year. Lively began the season sidelined by an illness and if it wasn't for Shane Bieber undergoing Tommy John surgery last week, he wouldn't be cracking Cleveland's rotation.

The Boston Red Sox will start Tanner Houck, who pitched to a 5.01 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP in 21 starts last year. Houck looked extremely sharp in his first two starts this season, throwing 12 innings of shutout ball and allowing just seven hits. However, he was lit up in his previous outing, surrendering 12 hits and seven runs (four earned) in 5.2 innings against the Angels.

The Red Sox have been subpar at the dish, ranking 23rd in the majors in batting average (.229) and 22nd in xwOBA (.305). Their lineup is decimated by injuries with All-Star Trevor Story done for the year, Tyler O'Neill (tied for the MLB-lead with seven homers) sidelined by a concussion, and Silver Slugger third baseman Rafael Devers the latest to join the IL after wrenching his knee last night.

The Red Sox might have the slight edge in starting pitching but Cleveland has the advantage in the bullpen. And while the Guardians have poor batting analytics, they are at least generating runs while Boston's banged up lineup hasn't done much. I'll lean towards the visitors at plus money here.

Guardians vs Red Sox same-game parlay (SGP)

Guardians moneyline

Tanner Houck Under 1.5 walks

Josh Naylor Over 1.5 total bases

The Guardians do a decent job of making contact (.259 BA) but have the second-lowest walk rate in baseball. Houck has walked just two batters in 17.2 innings this season and he sits in the top 10th percentile among all pitchers in walk rate.

Naylor has gone 2-for-9 at the plate with a pair of singles so far in this series. However, he has a history of performing well at Fenway, going 8-for-26 (.307) with four doubles in the previous two seasons. Naylor led the Guardians with a .489 slugging percentage last year and he hit 17 dingers and 31 doubles in just 121 games. He's been even better this season, slugging .603 with an xSLG of .584.

Fenway Park has been hitter-friendly for lefties like Naylor and he should benefit from the massive area in right field. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Guardians vs Red Sox odds

Guardians vs Red Sox live odds

Guardians vs Red Sox opening odds

  • Run line: Cleveland +1.5 (-170) | Boston -1.5 (+145)
  • Moneyline: Cleveland +125 | Boston -150
  • Over/Under: Over 9 (-120) | Under 9 (+100)

Guardians vs Red Sox spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Red Sox opened as -150 home faves but money has come in on the visitors, slimming their line to -130 as of noon ET.
  • The total opened at 9 and while it hasn't moved off that number the Over has shifted from -120 to +105.
  • Cleveland is 12-5 this season with seven of those wins coming as an underdog.
  • The Red Sox are 2-6 in their last eight games.

Guardians vs Red Sox trend

The Guardians are 9-2 on the road for a profit of +8.23 units this season. Find more MLB betting trends for Guardians vs. Red Sox

Guardians vs Red Sox game info

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Date: Wednesday, 4-17-2024
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Guardians starting pitcher: Ben Lively
(0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Red Sox starting pitcher: Tanner Houck
(2-1, 2.04 ERA)

Guardians vs Red Sox latest injuries

Guardians vs Red Sox weather

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