Boston Red Sox (26-24) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (29-21)
The Major League Baseball betting action goes on Friday, May 26, 2023, with a full 15-game card, so we are breaking down the interleague showdown from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, to get you the best Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks betting pick and odds.
Boston and Arizona lock horns for the first time since 2019, opening a three-game series. The Red Sox have won 11 of their previous 14 encounters with the Diamondbacks.
The Sawx hope to stop a four-game slideThe Boston Red Sox fell to 26-24 on the season following Wednesday’s 7-3 defeat at the Los Angeles Angels. They were swept by the Halos in a three-game set at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, extending their losing streak to four games. The Red Sox have struggled over the last few weeks, dropping eight of their previous 12 games overall.
Boston owns the fourth-highest scoring offense in the majors, tallying 5.24 runs per game. However, the Sawx have only scored 46 runs in their last 12 contests while slashing a mediocre .241/.307/.382 with ten home runs and 25 extra-base hits across 398 at-bats. Rafael Devers has recorded a poor .688 OPS during that 12-game stretch, whereas Masataka Yoshida continues to impress, hitting .302/.362/.442 in his last 43 at-bats.
The road to 400.— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 23, 2023
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Chris Sale is projected to take the hill Friday, and the 34-year-old left-hander is 4-2 with a 5.01 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 62/13 K/BB ratio in nine starts (50.1 innings pitched) this season. After a slow start to the season, Sale has improved a lot lately. The seven-time All-Star has only allowed seven runs on 16 hits and three walks over his previous four starts and 27.1 innings of work while punching out 32. Sale is now in the 79th percentile in expected batting average and the 62nd percentile in xERA.
The Diamondbacks shoot for their fifth straight series victoryThe Arizona Diamondbacks put an end to their four-game winning streak last Wednesday, blowing a five-run lead in a 6-5 ten-inning defeat at the Philadelphia Phillies. The D-backs have won four straight series over Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and San Francisco. They’ve gone 9-4 over their previous 13 games overall, and the 29-21 Diamondbacks were just a game and a half behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
Arizona is scoring 5.14 runs per game, enough for the sixth-most in baseball. The Diamondbacks have accounted for 66 runs over their previous 13 outings while slashing .248/.330/.435 with 17 round-trippers and 31 extra-base hits across 451 at-bats. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been unstoppable lately, hitting .348/.388/.674 in his previous 46 at-bats, while seven players have posted an OPS of .780 or higher in the last couple of weeks.
Brandon Pfaadt is expected to toe the slab Friday, and the 24-year-old rookie right-hander is 0-1 with a hideous 7.65 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and 14/8 K/BB ratio in four starts (20.0 IP) in 2023. Pfaadt has struggled in three of his four outings. Last Saturday, he yielded three earned runs on six hits and a couple of walks across 5.1 innings of work in a no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates (Arizona eventually won 4-3). Pfaadt, who’s the No. 3 prospect for Arizona, ranks in the 12th percentile in expected batting average and the 1st percentile in expected slugging percentage.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Brandon Pfaadt heavily leans on his 4-seam fastball (55.8% of usage) which has a poor plus-6 run value. This is a great opportunity for Boston’s lineup to get things going at the plate. The Red Sox have been red-hot for most of the season, but in the last two weeks, they’ve posted a 60 wRC+ against the right-handed pitchers. During that span, the Diamondbacks have recorded a 113 wRC+ against the southpaws, but they’ll have a tall task to hit Chris Sale well.
I’m backing the Red Sox to win this game behind their ace. The current Diamondbacks are 10-for-62 against Sale. Lourdes Gourriel Jr. is just 3-for-18 versus Boston’s lefty, and Ketel Marte has one hit in six at-bats against Sale.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Red Sox need a strong performance from Chris Sale. Their bullpen has gone 0-3 with a bloated 5.72 ERA and 6.00 FIP in the last two weeks and 39.1 frames of work, allowing a whopping 2.06 home runs per nine innings. On the other side, Arizona’s bullpen has tossed 46 innings in that span (5-2 record), registering a solid 3.52 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and 0.8 HR/9.
Boston’s lineup is too good to struggle for too long, so I’m expecting the Red Sox to get to Brandon Pfaadt early in this game. Hereof, I’ll take the over.