Boston has been on fire as of late, winning 10 of their last 11 contests heading into play on Thursday night. The Red Sox completed an all-important sweep at home against the New York Yankees last weekend, helping to extend their division lead to nine games in the AL East standings. At 81-34, the Red Sox sport the best record in baseball and have a legitimate chance to challenge the MLB record for the most regular season wins in baseball history (116).
Eovaldi riding impressive scoreless streak
The Red Sox will hand the ball to newly-acquired right-ander Nathan Eovaldi, who has been dominant in his first two starts since joining the team at the July 31 trade deadline. He has tossed 15 shutout innings since joining the Red Sox, becoming the first Boston starter since the late Vaughn Eshelman in 1995 to turn in consecutive scoreless outings to begin his career with the Sox. Eovaldi comes in on the heels of back to-back scoreless starts and he has tossed quality outings in six of his last seven trips to the mound this season. The 28-year-old right-hander comes in with a 5-4 overall record to go along with a 3.38 ERA in 12 starts this year, but he’s pitched far better than his numbers might indicate. Eovaldi has compiled a 0.89 WHIP in 72 innings this season, striking out 62 batters and walking just nine during that span, while also limiting opponents to a .210 batting average. The Red Sox right-hander is fresh off of tossing eight innings of shutout baseball at home versus the Yankees and has surrendered just one run over his past 21 innings of work.
Eovaldi has not starts against the Orioles since 2016, when he went 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in two outings versus the Orioles. According to Baseball Savant, the current Orioles’ lineup is batting .392 with a 1.012 OPS in 51 at-bat versus Eovaldi coming into this game.
Bundy hopes for better luck vs. Red Sox
The Orioles are slated to counter with right-hander Dylan Bundy for the second game of their series versus the Red Sox on Friday. Bundy comes in with a 7-10 overall record to go along with a 4.38 ERA in 21 starts this season. Bundy avoided getting dealt at the trade deadline and seems to have pitched better over his last two outings. He’s allowed just five earned runs in 13 innings of work during that span, while posting back-to-back quality starts for the first time since the beginning of June. The 25-year-old is fresh off of limiting the Texas Rangers to two runs (one earned) in six innings of work, but was saddled with a tough luck loss for his efforts in a 3-1 Orioles’ defeat. Bundy has struck out 129 batters in just 121 ⅓ innings of work this year.
In three starts versus the Red Sox already this season, Bundy is 0-2 despite posting a tremendous 2.25 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings of work versus the best record in baseball. He was 3-4 with a 5.07 ERA over his past 11 outings (eight starts) versus the Red Sox. According to Baseball Savant, the current Red Sox lineup is batting .275 in 201 plate appearances versus the Orioles’ right-hander.
- Orioles are 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Eovaldi’s scoreless innings streak has me a little weary of backing the Sox heading into this game. He’s given up just one earned run over his past 21 innings of work following an eight-run beatdown on the road against the Minnesota Twins. Eovaldi has benefitted from a .230 BABIP so far this season, which is more than 70 points lower than his career average. Bundy hasn’t had any luck versus the Red Sox this season, but he’s pitched well in three starts against Boston. Look for that to change and take the Orioles to win this game at home on Friday night.
Prediction: Pick: Baltimore Orioles +168
Full-Game Total Pick
Both starters enter this game throwing the ball with confidence. Eovaldi became the first Red Sox starter in more than two decades to start his career in Boston with back-to-back scoreless outings and he’s been very effective since coming back from injury mid-season. Bundy has had some success against the Red Sox this year and is coming off of consecutive quality starts as well, so look for this game to go under the projected total at Camden Yards on Friday.
Prediction: Under 9
Full-Game Prop Bet
Mookie Betts enters this game with three home runs in 33 plate appearances versus Bundy heading into this game. While eight Red Sox hitters have hit long balls off of Bundy, Betts will get the first crack at him in the leadoff spot, where he has been very dangerous throughout this career. This pick is a bit counter-intuitive after taking the Orioles, but this is a good matchup in a hitters ballpark. Take Mookie Betts to hit the first home run of this AL East rivalry game in Baltimore.
Prediction: Mookie Betts to hit the first home run
First Five Innings Total Bet
Eovaldi’s hot streak has to come to an end eventually, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to get lit up in this one. I expect this to be a hard-fought game and both pitchers could end up going deep into this one. Bundy has completed six innings or more in 10 of his last 13 starts, while Eovaldi has completed the feat in six of his last seven outings. Take the under on the projected five-inning total at Camden Yards.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Facing Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez in the same is almost unfair for opposing pitchers. There is a reason that the Red Sox are the best offense and the best overall team in the MLB this season. They are hitting an MLB-best .286 with runners in scoring position so far this season with a league-leading 46 home runs. Look for the Red Sox to score first at Camden Yard on Friday.
Prediction: Red Sox to score first