MLB Odds: Red Sox Favorites Against Phillies In Monday’s Series Opener

Division leaders will clash Monday when the Boston Red Sox open a two-game series against the National League East-leading Philadelphia Phillies as -150 favorites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston opens the first of two series against Philadelphia over the next two weeks after taking three of four from the visiting Minnesota Twins over the weekend, capped by Sunday’s 3-0 win as -159 chalk. That increased the club’s lead atop the American League East standings to 5 1/2 games going into Monday night’s Phillies vs. Red Sox betting matchup at Fenway Park.
With this weekend’s success against Minnesota, the Red Sox now have won 13 of 15 on home turf to improve their Major League Baseball-leading home record to 37-14. Boston also continued its solid defensive play, limiting the Twins to just nine total runs over the four-game set, while the club’s win Sunday marked its 11th shutout victory of the season.
Those stingy numbers also have contributed to a boon for those taking the UNDER in totals betting, which has prevailed in eight of Boston’s past 11 overall outings, with the team surrendering more than four runs on just two occasions during that stretch.

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That’s good news for the Red Sox as they prepare to take on a Phillies squad that stumbles into Boston as +130 underdogs after dropping three straight to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, including a 4-0 loss Sunday as a +104 wager.
The Phillies have struggled with inconsistency over the past three weeks, going 9-10 over their past 19 to put the brakes on a 14-5 run that catapulted them into top spot in the NL East standings. Philadelphia also rides a shaky 1-5 run on the road into its series with the Red Sox. However, despite their recent uneven play, the Phillies have managed to maintain a narrow 1 1/2-game lead over the second-place Atlanta Braves, and sit as +130 favorites to claim their first NL East title since 2011.
Philadelphia, though, has enjoyed little success in recent visits to Fenway Park. The Red Sox have taken five straight from the Phillies on home turf, and are 9-2 in their past 11 meetings overall, according to the OddsShark MLB Database.
The Red Sox also have been dominant in interleague play, going 23-5 in 28 contests since the start of the 2017 campaign. Philadelphia has won four straight against AL opponents, including three wins over the last-place Baltimore Orioles earlier this month, and is 9-4 in interleague action this season.

Kobe Bryant Has Great Response To Jayson Tatum Highlight Video

While we’re only one year in, one has to wonder whether the Philadelphia 76ers and/or Los Angeles Lakers have any regrets coming off the 2017 NBA Draft.
The 76ers and Lakers held the first two picks of last year’s draft and selected Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, respectively. Both players had underwhelming rookie seasons riddled by injuries, while No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum was nothing short of sensational in his debut campaign with the Boston Celtics.
At present, it’s hard to argue against Tatum having the brightest future of the three. In fact, even Lakers legend Kobe Bryant appears to think this way.
Bryant recently was shown a video by Tatum’s trainer, Drew Hanlen, that showcased the similarities between the two players. And after watching the reel, the Black Mamba became a victim of hindsight.

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“It was cool,” Hanlen told FOX Sports 1’s Evan Daniels. “We actually showed Kobe it yesterday, and he was like, ‘Why didn’t the Lakers draft him?’ Which was pretty funny after seeing that. Jayson idolized Kobe.”
We doubt the Lakers are sweating it too much, as Ball’s ceiling remains fairly high. Not to mention, the Purple and Gold now are pretty well set at the small forward position after signing LeBron James in free agency this summer.
The Celtics, however, likely couldn’t be more thrilled with how things panned out.

Nathan Eovaldi Details His Emotions As He Made Red Sox Debut At Fenway

Nathan Eovaldi was calm, cool and collected Sunday afternoon.
Making his first start since being traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, the 28-year-old right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out five in a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

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After the game, Eovaldi shed some light on his emotions while he made his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
To hear what he had to say, check out the “NESN Sports Today” video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

Antonio Brown Pitches Free-Agent Wideout Dez Bryant To Join Steelers

Dez Bryant still is in search of a new NFL home.
But if one superstar wide receiver had it his way, that wouldn’t be the case.
Steelers wideout Antonio Brown reached out to Bryant via Twitter on Sunday to pitch the former Dallas Cowboy to make his way to Pittsburgh.

Come play with me @DezBryant let’s get the chip……….Eat Greedy……Big plates…….

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— Antonio Brown (@AB84) July 29, 2018

Given Bryant still is able to play at a high level, his addition to the Steelers’ offense would make it even more frightening than it already is with the likes of Brown, Le’Veon Bell and the up-and-coming JuJu Smith-Schuster.
It’s uncertain whether Pittsburgh actually has interest in Bryant, but it’s clear another AFC North team does. Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has considered the idea of trying to add the three-time Pro Bowl selection, and the interest just might be mutual.

Here’s When Alex Cora Knew J.D. Martinez Would Be Great Fit With Red Sox

Not all marquee free-agent signings have lived up to expectations with the Boston Red Sox, but J.D. Martinez has managed to exceed them.
While Martinez was the most coveted free-agent hitter in the offseason, no one could have imagined the veteran slugger putting up the kind of numbers he has in his first season with the Red Sox. Through 107 games, Martinez is batting .326 to go along with a Major League Baseball-leading 32 home runs and 89 RBIs.
So, what sold Boston on Martinez in free agency? While president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski already was well aware of what Martinez brought to the table dating back to their time together with the Detroit Tigers, manager Alex Cora got his first glimpse of what was to come during the Winter Meetings.

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“The way he talked, he was very passionate about baseball,” Cora told The Eagle Tribune’s Chris Mason. “He’d talk about communication with his players in Arizona. After that I made some phone calls and, yeah… They told me he was amazing. He was able communicate, to share information, he’s a good guy. So that’s when I was like, OK, this is going to work.”
And boy has it worked. Aside from helping the Red Sox rip off wins at a historic pace, Martinez firmly remains in the Triple Crown hunt with just over two months of the regular season remaining.

Watch Best Moments From Nathan Eovaldi’s Tremendous Red Sox Debut

Sunday was a pretty memorable day for Nathan Eovaldi.
Mere days after getting traded to Boston from the Tampa Bay Rays, the hard-throwing right-hander made his Red Sox debut.
And he simply was stellar in front of the home crowd.
Eovaldi threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out five in Boston’s 3-0 win over the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.
There obviously are few better ways to debut for a new team, and the Red Sox didn’t take long to relive it, throwing together some of the top highlights from Eovaldi’s exciting afternoon.
Take a look:

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What a pic.twitter.com/EfvyCrlvw6
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) July 29, 2018

Awesome.
The addition of the righty certainly will help bolster the Red Sox rotation, especially as they contend with a slew of injuries and struggles to other starters.
Eovaldi now is 4-4 with a 3.80 ERA this season.

Julian Edelman Shows Patriots Fans Love With Heartfelt Instagram Post

After being an integral piece in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI win, it’s been nothing short of a roller coaster for Julian Edelman.
The veteran wide receiver missed the entire 2017 campaign after tearing his ACL during the preseason and he’ll be sidelined for the first four contests of the upcoming season after violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Edelman isn’t letting the adversity hinder his spirit, though, as he’s looked sharp as ever through the first four days of New England’s training camp. And following Sunday’s session, the 32-year-old let Patriots Nation know just how much he appreciates them for standing by his side through thick and thin.

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“It’s been one heck of a few months and a crazy year,” Edelman wrote in an Instagram post. “My deepest apologies to my family, friends, peers, coaches and fans. What I can say, and what I am most thankful for, is the overwhelming support I have received from everyone. The love and support has truly helped me through what has been a challenging time. Whether it’s a person walking down Newbury street, or someone next to me filling up their gas tank saying they have my back. I can’t thank Pat’s Nation enough. It inspires me to go out and work that much harder for you guys. Remember, tough times don’t last, tough people do. ”
If you ask Edelman, he’ll likely tell you that Oct. 4’s Week 5 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts can’t come soon enough.

Alex Cora Comfortable With Red Sox’s Options To Pitch Seventh Inning

The Boston Red Sox are at a slight impasse with their late-inning relief situation.
Matt Barnes effectively has become the eighth inning arm for the foreseeable future after the downtick in success of Joe Kelly. As such, there is a bit of a void as to who will pitch the seventh inning on a routine basis.

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Tyler Thornburg, Ryan Brasier and Heath Hembree all are among the candidates to fill that role. Alex Cora laid out the team’s outlook on their current seventh inning situation to NESN’s Tom Caron on Friday.
To hear what Cora had to say, check out the “Ultimate Red Sox Show” video above, presented by, Sam Adams – the Official Beer of Boston Red Sox.

Red Sox Notes: Nathan Eovaldi Impresses Vs. Twins In Boston Debut

Nathan Eovaldi’s Boston Red Sox tenure is off to a smashing start.
Thanks to an impressive debut from the 28-year-old, Gold Glove-like defense from Jackie Bradley Jr. and three RBIs from J.D. Martinez, the Red Sox were able to get their 74th win of the season — and their third straight victory — in a 3-0 shutout of the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Eovaldi tossed seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out five while not allowing a runner to get past second base. His outing was impressive on many levels — particularly because the last time the right-hander faced the Twins on July 13 while he was with the Tampa Bay Rays, it didn’t go nearly as well.
“His last outing against them, I think it was a bad one, eight runs, two innings he left a lot of pitches down the middle,” Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Not tonight, not today. He was very efficient.”
When asked how the team prepared Eovaldi for his debut with the Red Sox between Wednesday, when they acquired him, and Sunday, Cora said he and his staff handled it like he’s donned a Boston uniform for more than just the last few days.
“We treat it like he’s been here for a while,” Cora said. “He’s been good, really good throughout the season. I think him and Sandy (Leon), they clicked today. Loved the fact that there were quick outs. It was fun to watch … What a great way to start his career with the Red Sox.”
If the rotation stays the way it currently is, Eovaldi’s likely next start will be against the New York Yankees.
Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Twins game:

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— Jackie Bradley Jr. defied the laws of physics in the third when Twins catcher Bobby Wilson ripped what looked like was going to be an extra-base hit, but the 25-year-old proved why he’s one of the defensive outfielders in Major League Baseball, making an insane grab to steal a hit.
“We feel that he’s the best defensive center fielder in the big leagues,” Cora said after the game. “To see him play this way — throwing people out, the jumps — you see the joy now. You see him smiling on the field. He’s doing outstanding. He’s amazing.”
—Although Eovaldi was at just 82 pitches through seven innings, Cora elected to go to the bullpen. After the game, the Sox skipper explained the logic behind his quick hook.
“He hasn’t pitched in a while (and) we felt good about the bullpen where we were with Barnsy (Matt Barnes) and Craig (Kimbrel),” Cora said.
— Although the bullpen has struggled lately, both Barnes and Kimbrel combined to throw two shutout innings with three strikeouts.
— With his three RBIs Sunday, J.D. Martinez now leads Major League Baseball with 89.
— Blake Swihart made his first career start at third base, and he looked natural at the hot corner, even starting a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth.

David Price Set To Take Mound In Red Sox’s Series Opener Vs. Phillies

David Price’s last outing was stopped short due to rain, but he’ll get a chance to go a little deeper Monday when the Boston Red Sox open up a two-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Sox southpaw has been strong lately, and he’ll be tasked with a good test against a Phillies team that has played well this season and is in contention to win the National League East.

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Philadelphia will counter with Aaron Nola, who is 12-3 this season with a 2.42 ERA.
For more on Monday’s pitching matchup, check out the “Red Sox Final” video above, presented by Rodenhiser Heating & Cooling.