Baltimore Orioles (62-65 SU, 63-64 RL, 63-61-3 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (73-53 SU, 67-59 RL, 55-65-6 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 25, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Boston Red Sox -150/Baltimore Orioles +135. Total: 10.
The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles will begin a three-game series when they square off at Fenway Park in Boston on Friday night. Baltimore is looking to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since Aug. 5-7. The Red Sox had won two in a row and six of their last eight heading into their series finale against Cleveland on Thursday.
Hellickson struggling in new setting
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson is taking the mound for Baltimore on Friday. Hellickson is 7-7 with a 5.00 ERA through 24 outings this season. The Orioles acquired him from Philadelphia prior to the trade deadline and he has gone from hero to zero in a hurry with his new club. Following two straight quality starts in which he allowed a total of three runs in 13 innings, Hellickson has surrendered 13 runs in his last 9.2 innings of work (a 9-3 loss at Oakland and a 9-7 victory over the Angels).
Baltimore could really use a better outing in this one. The Orioles have given up at least five runs in six of their last seven outings. Their offense at least managed to help them salvage a 3-4 record in those seven contests, in part thanks to third baseman Manny Machado. He has homered in two straight games, giving him 28 for the season.
Nunez heating up
Boston acquired outfielder Rajai Davis from Oakland on Wednesday, just hours after learning that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. suffered a sprained ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday’s contest. Davis was not in the lineup for a 6-1 victory over Cleveland, in which Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez went deep. Nunez is 4-for-9 with two homers and seven RBIs in the past two games. The Red Sox own a 4.5-game lead in the American League East.
Rick Porcello will oppose Hellickson on Friday. The right-hander is a disappointing 8-14 with a 4.48 ERA in 2017, but he has improved of late. Porcello compiled a 6.63 ERA in June before turning in a 3.06 mark in July, and he is at 4.07 through four August outings. His last two starts have been quality–three runs in seven innings during a win over St. Louis on Aug. 15 and one run in six innings of a 5-1 defeat of the Yankees this past Sunday.
The Baltimore Orioles are:
- 15-32 in their last 47 road games
- 8-20 in their last 28 road games against teams with winning records
- 0-7 in their last seven road games against teams with home winning percentages over .600
The Boston Red Sox are:
- 17-5 in their last 22 overall
- 10-2 in their last 12 home games
- 4-0 in their last four games against teams with losing records
The Orioles have been struggling on the mound of late. Heck, even Zach Britton blew a save on Wednesday. Britton had converted 60 consecutive save opportunities before seeing the streak end against Oakland, although his team recovered for an 8-7 victory in 12 innings. Baltimore is 15-32 in its last 47 on the road, 8-20 in its last 28 against winning opponents, 0-7 in its last seven on the road against opponents with home winning percentages over .600, and 1-10 in its last 11 on Fridays. The Red Sox are 17-5 in their last 22 overall, 10-2 in their last 12 at home, 4-0 in their last four against losing opponents, and 15-3 in their last 18 against right-handed starters. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.