A pair of AL East rivals in different situations in the closing weeks of the season continue a weekend set on the diamond in Beantown. The Baltimore Orioles are on the road as they make the trip to face the Boston Red Sox in the middle game of a three-game set Saturday afternoon. Baltimore picked up a 3-2 win in 10 innings against the Yankees at home Thursday night to salvage the finale of a three-game series. Boston took two of three on the road from the Mariners as they prevailed 9-4 in 10 innings in the rubber game of that set Wednesday afternoon. This article was published prior to the conclusion of Friday’s series opener at Fenway Park.
Baltimore Orioles Trying to Play SpoilerBaltimore managed to rally in the finale of their three-game set with the Yankees Thursday night at home and look to play spoiler again here. The Orioles entered Friday last in the AL East, 43.5 games behind the Rays for the division lead. In the AL wild-card race, the team has been eliminated from playoff contention as they are 35 games behind with 16 games to play. On Thursday, Baltimore got two hits each from Cedric Mullins and Richie Martin to lead a 10-hit attack. Ryan Mountcastle hit his 29th homer of the season in the game. Baltimore scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth while Austin Hays knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Chris Ellis didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Cole Sulser (5-4) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, allowing no hits or walks while striking out two.
ACTION AUSTIN IS A BALL PLAYER!— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 17, 2021
WALK-OFF WIN FOR THE O'S! pic.twitter.com/F5bQERFNeB
Zac Lowther is expected to get the ball for his eighth appearance and fourth start of the season for the Orioles here. He comes in 0-2 with a 9.92 ERA, a 1.776 WHIP, nine walks and 17 strikeouts over 16.1 innings of work this season. Lowther took the loss in his last start, which came at home against Toronto Sunday. He was tagged for seven runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts over two innings in a 22-7 Orioles loss. On the road this season, Lowther threw a scoreless inning, allowing no hits with one walk and two strikeouts in a 6-5 Orioles loss to the Angels on July 4. Lowther was roughed up in his lone career start against the Red Sox, which came on May 8. He threw 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in an 11-6 Orioles defeat. In his eighth career major league appearance and fourth start, he pitches at Fenway Park for the first time. Prior to being recalled, Lowther was 0-6 with a 5.49 ERA, a 1.551 WHIP, 18 walks and 45 strikeouts over 39.1 innings in 11 appearances, 10 starts, split between four teams ranging from the Rookie League through Triple-A.
Boston Red Sox Fighting to Stay in Playoff ChaseBoston managed to break open a close game in extra innings in the rubber game of their three-game set with the Mariners to get the win Wednesday night. The Red Sox entered Friday tied for second in the AL East with Toronto, 8.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the division lead. In the AL wild-card picture, the team was tied with Toronto for the two wild-card spots with the Yankees only half a game behind. On Wednesday, Jose Iglesias (RBI) was the lone player with two hits for Boston. Hunter Renfroe hit his 28th homer of the year while Kyle Schwarber and Christian Vazquez each drove in two runs as part of Boston’s six-run 10th inning. Tanner Houck didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Adam Ottavino (7-3) earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings of work: he allowed no hits or walks while striking out two.
Extra-inning encore. pic.twitter.com/5dTVvT4f86— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 16, 2021
Nick Pivetta is expected to take the ball for his 28th start of the season for the Red Sox here. He comes in 9-7 with a 4.55 ERA, a 1.318 WHIP, 62 walks and 156 strikeouts over 140.1 innings of work this season. Pivetta didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Sunday on the road against the White Sox. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 2-1 Red Sox defeat. At home this season, Pivetta is 4-2 with a 5.60 ERA, a 1.477 WHIP, 30 walks and 72 strikeouts over 64.1 innings in 13 starts. Pivetta makes his seventh career start against the Orioles in this contest. He comes in with a 6-0 record, a 2.95 ERA, a 1.009 WHIP, 13 walks and 43 strikeouts over 36.2 innings of work. Pivetta is 5-2 with a 5.32 ERA, a 1.471 WHIP, 33 walks and 80 strikeouts over 69.1 innings in 14 career starts at Fenway Park.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Orioles are 13-42 in their last 55 road games
- Orioles are 12-42 in their last 54 vs. American League East
- Orioles are 12-46 in their last 58 vs. a team with a winning record
- Red Sox are 5-1 in their last 6 Saturday games
- Red Sox are 12-3 in their last 15 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- Red Sox are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a left-handed starter
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Baltimore may have come up with the win over the Yankees Thursday night but they have a major challenge here. The Red Sox, like the Yankees, are fighting for their playoff lives right now and facing a last-place team should be a favorable matchup. Pivetta pitched well in his first start back off the COVID-19 list his last time out and has dominated the Orioles in his career. Lowther has struggled all season, regardless of what level he’s pitched at during the year. When you’re winless for the entire season at five different levels, that’s not a compelling argument. He’s got an ERA over nine and has given up five homers in 16.1 big league innings. Look for the Red Sox to tee off on him and deliver the victory in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
The over has hit in six of Lowther’s seven major league appearances coming into this contest. In his outings, the average total of runs scored is a staggering 15.14 runs per game. The total has broken double digits in five of his seven appearances and three of them saw at least 17 runs on the board. Pivetta has had his struggles at keeping the total down at home this season. In his last 10 starts overall, he’s seen an average of 8.9 runs per game on the board. At home, his average total is 11.15 runs per game as he’s been helped by Boston ranking second in the majors with an average of 5.74 runs per game at home this season. This one goes over the mark as the Red Sox pile up runs while Baltimore gets their share as well.