The Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox play the fourth and final game of their series on Thursday afternoon as well as the final game of the season series between the two AL East rivals. Baltimore looks to close out a successful season on a high note while the Red Sox continue to take a look at some different faces in the lineup as they prepare for an overhaul this offseason. On the mound on Thursday will be Michael Baumann (1-3, 4.32) of the Orioles taking on Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.15). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35pm EST.
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Birds Ready to Fly SouthA successful season is nearly in the books for the Birds but they will, once again, be flying south for an early winter after it looks like they will fall short of their quest to earn a wildcard spot. After just 52 wins in 2021, it is a tremendous accomplishment to likely finish with a winning record but the Orioles have some work to do this winter if they want to compete for a playoff spot in 2023. On Wednesday night in the third game of their series with Boston, the Orioles' bats finally cooled off as they were held without a run against veteran lefty Rich Hill through six innings in an eventual 3-1 defeat.
Let's get to work. pic.twitter.com/PkAKdTi8zA— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 28, 2022
Baltimore will head to the Bronx after this series for a three-game set with the Yankees. For a stretch into August, the Orioles had the best record in the American League since the all-star break before losing some steam into September. On the mound in the series finale will be 27-year-old Michael Baumann. Baumann has made 11 appearances this season with two of them starts. In his two starts this season, he has a solid 4.32 ERA and has pitched nine innings in the two starts and given up 11 hits.
Red Sox Wrapping it UpThe Boston Red Sox are wrapping up the 2022 season and already sneaking a peek into 2023. The team has cooled down the stretch and has gone just 3-7 in their last ten games heading into Wednesday night. The Red Sox, with one more loss, will assure themselves of a losing season. On Wednesday night, clinging to the chance to finish at .500, Boston squeaked out a win over the Orioles 3-1 thanks to a stellar effort from Rich Hill in likely his next-to-last start in a Boston uniform.
Filthy Rich pic.twitter.com/XKSQD5k1DJ— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 29, 2022
The Red Sox will be going through a number of changes this offseason with several key players hitting free agency. One player that will be a free agent this offseason is starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has made just 18 starts this season and hasn't pitched since August 12th with a shoulder ailment. Eovaldi's decision to pitch in the final week of the season certainly is a chance to showcase himself as healthy as he heads into free agency this offseason. The Red Sox will likely move on from the veteran due to his age and, more importantly, wear and tear.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Eovaldi finds himself in a good spot to show prospective future teams what kind of stuff he has in this outing. Prior to hitting the IL, Eovaldi's velocity had gone down and he looked like a tired pitcher. Having been on the IL since August 12th, it would have been reasonable to expect him to sit and begin preparing for next season. Clearly, Eovaldi thinks he has something to prove and is confident in his stuff to put himself out there for one final start. I am betting on Eovaldi to be fresh and invigorated from his stint on the IL and expect to see an uptick in his velocity. Boston has been hitting the ball very well this series, scoring 21 runs in the first two games, and should be able to back their veteran teammate. Expect the Sox to play well behind one of their most revered teammates and pull out the victory over the Orioles in the series finale.
Take the Sox with the money line.
Full-Game Total Pick
While I expect Eovaldi to pitch well, he will certainly be on a pitch count so the Red Sox's subpar bullpen will be exposed yet again. The Orioles cooled off on Wednesday night but pounded Boston pitching in the first two games. They will likely struggle with Eovaldi but certainly do damage against the beleaguered Sox pen. Likewise, Boston should be able to produce both against the subpar Baumann and a tired Orioles pen that has logged some serious innings as of late. Expect this one to sail past the total as both teams pile on runs late.
Take the over, 9.5 runs.