The Red Sox and Rangers rank as two of the top rosters in the AL. With a rubber match of a third game looming, the Red Sox should prove that they are the more legitimate team, despite the records.
The Rangers are the luckiest team in baseball, it is not even close. Martin Perez may be the biggest factor to attest to that. He is striking a ridiculously low 4.4 hitters per nine, only to be matched by his 3.8 walks per nine. Opposing hitters also have a .270 BABIP against him, which is thirty points lower than his career average. 80% of the batters that he allows on base have been stranded there, well above his 70% career rate, which is still above league average. Perez is giving up hits, he is walking batters and he is getting timely outs to avoid poor starts. His FIP is over a full run higher than his ERA and his XFIP is over a run and a half higher.
He now gets the Boston Red Sox lineup, a lineup that is the best in baseball in almost any way that you look at it, albeit they have been slumping a tad lately, we like them to rock him today after seeing him a week ago. He will be opposing veteran MLB All-Star and knuckleball specialist Steven Wright. While Wright is not striking many out, he has much more control over his knuckleball than Perez has over any pitch. Wright induces weak contact which is much easier than the contact in which Perez has allowed.
The Red Sox should know what is at stake. Everything points to them rolling in this one. Still. We figured due to the pitching match that we would be seeing the Sox as about a -170 or -180 favorite. To see them only at -150 makes it a value play and is worth the stab.