Baltimore Orioles (62-65 SU, 63-64 RL, 63-61-3 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (73-54 SU, 67-60 RL, 56-65-6 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 26, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 4:05 pm ET
Lines: Boston -151, Baltimore +141; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the continuation of a battle between a pair of AL East rivals up in Beantown. The Baltimore Orioles play the middle game of a three game weekend series with the Boston Red Sox Saturday afternoon. Baltimore took two of three at home over Oakland as they won the rubber game 8-7 in 12 innings Wednesday. Boston split a four game set with the Indians on the road as they were clubbed 13-6 in the finale Thursday night. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw Jeremy Hellickson pitch for Baltimore against Boston’s Rick Porcello. First pitch in the game was set for 7:05 pm ET.
Baltimore Orioles Looking to Move in Wild Card Picture
Baltimore nearly let the rubber game against the last place A’s slip away as Zach Britton had his string of 60 consecutive saves snapped. The Orioles rallied and entered Friday three games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot. Tim Beckham led the Orioles with three hits in the win while Trey Mancini (his 22nd), Welington Castillo (his 14th), Chris Davis (his 20th) and Manny Machado (his 28th) all going deep. Machado’s blast was a walk-off shot in the 12th inning. Dylan Bundy recorded a no-decision despite a quality start: he threw six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Miguel Castro (3-1) ended up with the win in relief: he threw 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Kevin Gausman logs his 28th start of the year for the Orioles in this contest. He is 9-9 with a 5.25 ERA, a 1.625 WHIP with 60 walks against 135 strikeouts over 144 innings of work. Gausman picked up the win in his last start, which came Monday on the road against the Angels for just his second loss in his last 11 starts. He threw four innings, allowing five runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in a 5-1 Baltimore loss. Gausman is 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA, a 1.65 WHIP, seven walks and 15 strikeouts over 16.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 17th career appearance and 12th start against the Red Sox in this contest. Gausman is 3-6 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.275 WHIP over 64.1 innings of work. He is 1-3 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.172 WHIP over nine appearances, five starts, covering 29 innings at Fenway Park in his career.
Boston Red Sox Try to Maintain AL East Edge
Boston split their four game set with the Indians on the road. The Red Sox entered Friday four games behind Houston for the best record in the AL, 2.5 games ahead of Cleveland for the second best mark and 4.5 games up on the Yankees in the AL East. Mitch Moreland (two runs, four RBI) led the Red Sox with three hits, including his 16th and 17th homers of the year. Xander Bogaerts (two runs, two RBI) and Eduardo Nunez each had two hits for Boston. Chris Sale (14-6) saw his struggles with Cleveland continue as he was tagged for seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts over three innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez makes the start for the Red Sox as he takes the ball for the 19th time this season and logs his 18th start. He spent six weeks on the disabled list earlier this season with a knee injury suffered in early June. He is 4-3 with a 4.01 ERA, a 1.247 WHIP with 37 walks and 107 strikeouts over 98.2 innings of work. Rodriguez recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came on the road against the Indians Monday. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in an eventual 5-4 Red Sox defeat. Rodriguez has no record with a 3.71 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, five walks and 18 strikeouts over 17 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 10th career start against the Orioles: he is 3-4 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP over 47.1 innings of work. Rodriguez is 7-6 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.406 WHIP over 28 starts totaling 155.2 innings of work at Fenway Park in his career.
- Orioles are 8-3 in their last 11 games vs. a left-handed starter
- Red Sox are 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
The Red Sox are still atop the AL East standings and continue to battle for the best record in the American League. Baltimore is still fighting for a wild card spot in the American League as they are one of several teams in a crowded race. Gausman has pitched well of late after a slow start to the season while Rodriguez has no wins in his last eight starts and five consecutive no-decisions. The Orioles need the win more than the Red Sox: look for Baltimore to steal one here.
Pick: Baltimore Orioles +141
Boston has to be less than thrilled after splitting their four game series with the Indians. Sale, who has been a MVP candidate against the rest of the league, has looked startlingly mediocre against Cleveland. The Red Sox added Rajai Davis from the A’s in a deal this week to replace Jackie Bradley Jr., who is on the shelf at the moment. Baltimore took two of three from Oakland but this is a major step up in competition if they hope to stay in the AL wild card race. The Orioles have to get some decent efforts from their rotation going forward as well.
The under is 8-0 in the second game of the Orioles’ last eight series, 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record, 4-1 in their last five games on grass and 4-1 in their last five overall. Boston has seen the under go 8-2-1 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 8-2-1 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing record, 20-8-1 in their last 29 games at home and 7-3 in their last 10 Saturday contests. This one looks to be another 5-4 or so kind of game, which keeps things just under the total.