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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Normally, when the Boston Red Sox are playing great baseball, it’s all over the airwaves. ESPN might as well be based on Boston the way they cover sports some seasons. But, even today, there’s more coverage about Kevin Garnett signing a contract than there is about the recent surge of the Red Sox. They’re not even the biggest story in their own city, let alone their division, their league, and their sport.

Well, handicappers better be paying attention. It’s true that the Red Sox haven’t been as hot as the New York Yankees in recent weeks. The Yanks, Angels, and Rangers have all been on fire, and have been grabbing the majority of the AL headlines. Just be aware that Boston is on the move. Let’s run a quick comparison between the Red Sox and the Baltimore and Tampa Bay teams that are currently battling Boston for Wildcard positioning in the AL East.

 

Last 10 Games

Boston 7-3

Baltimore 3-7

Tampa Bay 3-7

 

Last 20 Games

Boston 12-8

Baltimore 10-10

Tampa Bay 9-11

 

Last 30 Games

Boston 18-12

Baltimore 13-17

Tampa Bay 13-17

Boston currently has the second best run differential in the American League (trailing only Texas), and third best in the majors. That’s historically a very good indicator for continued success. ESPN’s playoff odds calculator has lifted them to 52%...which is well ahead of Baltimore and Tampa Bay even though the won-lost standings currently give the nod to the Orioles.

How can handicappers take advantage? First, stop fading Boston! Many of you did make a lot of money doing that in the first two months of the season. They were badly overrated. Chemistry was a mess. The starting rotation was unsettled. Fading Boston was a smart strategy during the turmoil. Now that things have settled down in Beantown, you may have to stop thinking of them as an “overrated” team.

The market tends to give this franchise respect, so we can’t endorse a strategy of blindly betting in Vegas on the Sox. We would suggest the following:

*Look at them at affordable prices on the road.

*Look to bet the OVER at home against soft opposing pitching.

*Focus on recent pitching performances rather than full season performances to get a truer read on the big names at the top of the rotation. THEN look for value based on those recent stats.

It’s taken a few months…but management has largely taken care of the various soap operas that were scattering around like cockroaches. The players have accepted that Bobby Valentine is going to be their manager for the forseeable future. Everybody knows their role and is focused on doing their jobs. The offensive leadership of David Ortiz can’t be underestimated because he’s such a team leader. Nobody’s worrying about what this guy said to that reporter. This still isn’t a championship caliber team. But, they have been at the level of playoff caliber for more than a month now.  

The Red Sox take the field again tonight in Seattle, where Beckett is a -150 favorite over Ramirez. The series ends Sunday with Doubront vs. Vargas. Boston then visits Oakland for three games Monday-Wednesday…before heading home for a critical series against the New York Yankees next weekend. It’s a big week for Boston baseball!

Tonight’s Boston-Seattle game may or may not be part of the big game mix for the experts at VegasSportsMasters. Among the posted highlights for Saturday...

*Tony Salinas has a pair of live dogs posted for his clients. The legendary Vegas High Roller is 9-3 on his last 12 underdog selections…which means HUGE profits and those puppy payouts.

*Kelso Sturgeon is gearing up for Sunday’s first 100-Unit play of the baseball season with another 50-Unit Saturday sizzler and Game of the Week options from today’s busy card.

*Jim Hurley is continuing his Blue Ribbon Showcase featuring his top private plays at ridiculously low prices.

Be sure you remember to check the ads on the home page every day for big play blockbusters (and football seasonal specials!). Complete details on each industry legends’ slate are available on the “buy picks” pulldown. Hot handicappers are always waiting to hear from you! This weekend is the perfect time to get your ducks in a row for 2012 football. The early bird gets the biggest savings!

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