A pair of AL East foes kick off the final week of the regular season with the start of a series up in Beantown. The Baltimore Orioles are on the road as they play the first of three games against the Boston Red Sox Monday night. Baltimore avoided a sweep of their three-game set on the road against the Yankees as they took a 6-3 win Sunday. Boston played the rubber game of their three-game series on the road against the Indians Sunday night: they were defeated 5-4 in 11 innings Saturday. The Red Sox swept a four-game set here in the last series between the teams August 10-12.
Baltimore Orioles Hoping to Avoid Franchise Record for Losses
Baltimore managed to come up with a win in the finale of their series with the Yankees Sunday afternoon. The Orioles improved to 45-110 on the season and they entered Sunday night 60 games behind Boston in the AL East. Baltimore rallied from a 3-0 deficit by scoring the game’s final six runs, including four in the sixth inning. Joey Rickard (two runs) had three hits while Trey Mancini (run), Tim Beckham (two runs, three RBI) and Renato Nunez (run, RBI) each had two. Alex Cobb lasted just four pitches before getting pulled with a blister. Ryan Meisinger (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Mychal Givens worked the ninth for his ninth save of the year.
Dylan Bundy takes the mound for his 30th start of the season for the Orioles here. He is 8-15 with a 5.37 ERA, a 1.395 WHIP, 50 walks, 172 strikeouts and a league-high 38 homers allowed on the year over 162.2 innings of work. Bundy took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against Toronto. He allowed five runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and strikeouts over 6.2 innings in a 6-4 Baltimore loss. Bundy is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, six walks and 17 strikeouts over 16.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 17th career appearance and 13th start against the Red Sox in this contest. In those outings, he is 3-6 with a 4.80 ERA, a 1.467 WHIP, 27 walks and 48 strikeouts over 75 innings of work. Bundy is 2-3 with a 3.67 ERA, a 1.427 WHIP, 14 walks and 23 strikeouts over 34.1 innings in eight career appearances, five starts, at Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox Cruising to Postseason
Boston has been on cruise control for the postseason as they have already locked up the AL East crow. The Red Sox rallied again Saturday night but ended up on the short end of the stick in extra innings. Boston entered their rubber game with the Indians 105-50 on the year and led the Yankees by 10 games entering Sunday night. No player had more than one hit for the Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi drove in a pair of runs while Rafael Devers and Blake Swihart each had one. Rick Porcello didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout over five innings. Drew Pomeranz (2-6) took the loss as he allowed a run on three hits plus a walk without retiring a hitter.
Nathan Eovaldi makes his 21st appearance and 20th start of the season overall: it’s his 11th appearance and 10th start for the Red Sox since coming over in a trade back in late July. He is 5-7 with a 3.98 ERA, a 1.154 WHIP, 20 walks and 87 strikeouts over 104 innings of work. Eovaldi didn’t factor in the decision in this last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the Yankees. He threw six scoreless innings, allowing two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in an eventual 3-2 Boston loss. Eovaldi is 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, six walks and nine strikeouts over 11.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career start against the Orioles in this contest. In those outings, he is 2-0 with a 5.16 ERA, a 1.82 WHIP, 14 walks and 22 strikeouts over 29.2 innings. Eovaldi is 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA, a 1.248 WHIP, eight walks and 24 strikeouts over 41.2 innings in eight career appearances, seven starts, at Fenway Park.
- 7-1 last 8 Monday games.
- 19-7 last 26 during game 1 of a series.
- 30-14 last 44 after a loss.
- 1-6 in Bundy’s last 7 starts on grass.
- 3-14 last 17 Monday games.
- 9-23 in Bundy’s last 32 starts.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Bundy has been a disaster this season, even though he’s pitched well over his last two starts. He’s 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four starts against Boston this year and 3-6 with a 4.80 ERA against them in his career. The Red Sox have also won four straight in this series and nine of 10. The Orioles are good enough to take one game from most teams and that’s about it. That’s a lot to lay so if you can find a run line, use it. If not, this is an easy Boston win.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox -220
Full-Game Total Pick
Boston entered Sunday with a major league-leading 824 runs to their credit. On the flip side, the Orioles had given up a league-worst 853 runs so far this season, a major reason they have the league’s worst record. The Red Sox have gone 14-2 in the 16 meetings between the teams this season. In those games, Boston has scored 99 runs. When you’re putting up better than six runs a game, it puts things in perspective. Bundy has been smacked around on a regular basis and the Red Sox’ power combined with the 38 homers he’s allowed is a bad mix for Baltimore.
The over is 5-1 in the Orioles’ last six on the road, 5-1 in their last six on the road against teams with a home winning percentage greater than .600 and 6-1-1 in Bundy’s last eight starts against the AL East. Boston has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four overall, 4-0 in their last four at home, 4-0-1 in their last five against a right-handed starter and 8-2-1 in their last 11 series openers. Given the way Boston has put runs on the board this season, especially against the Orioles, this one seems poised to go over the number as well.
Prediction: Over 8.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
As we mentioned above, Boston has averaged better than six runs a game against the Orioles this season. Baltimore has had a difficult time keeping opposing bats from putting runs on the board. Bundy has been awful in the second half of the season: he is 2-6 with a 7.13 ERA, a 1.551 WHIP and has allowed 18 homers in 11 starts. That’s a bad combination against Boston, who has hit 198 homers this season. Boston should go over the number here.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox Over 4.5 -125
First Five Innings Side Pick
Boston has owned the Orioles this season, going 14-2 in their 16 meetings. Eovaldi hasn’t delivered the wins that the Red Sox had hoped for since coming over but he’s been fairly steady. In his time in Boston, he is 2-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.362 WHIP over 47 innings of work. While those numbers aren’t eye popping, they certainly are better than what we’ve seen Bundy bring to the table this season. The Red Sox should shake off back to back losses by cruising in this one.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox -240
First Five Innings Total Bet
With Boston’s offense, the over is never all that far away. Mixing in the volatility of Baltimore’s pitching staff and their penchant for giving up crooked numbers and things get that much clearer. Bundy has given up a .308 batting average in the second half of the season so it’s not just long balls that are affecting his splits. Boston should help push this one right on past the number after five innings with another big offensive showing.
Prediction: Over 4.5 -125
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
This goes right back to the heart of the matter in this game. Baltimore is the league’s worst team as far as giving runs up while Boston is the best at putting them on the board. Bundy has been tagged to the tune of a 7.07 ERA while opposing hitters have a .257/.339/.532 slash line against him with nine homers in the first inning. Boston has put up 88 first inning runs so far this season. If Eovaldi throws a zero in the top of the first as expected, the Red Sox should jump on the board first.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox to Score First -165