The Baltimore Orioles are trying to fend off the Boston Red Sox to keep fourth place in the American League East. The Orioles, however, have stumbled of late losing five of the last six and are just two games ahead of the last-place Red Sox. The Orioles were defeated by Boston in the first game of this three-game set 8-3 on Tuesday evening.
Boston has had a very disappointing season by any standard but especially by the standards in Boston where players, front office, and fans are used to the Red Sox making deep runs into the postseason and at times winning a World Series, However, off-season moves by the Boston Red Sox front office hurt as Mookie Betts and David Price were sent packing. Pitcher Chris Sale has also missed the entire season due to injury.
Orioles need pitching helpBaltimore does not have a pitcher that has won more than three games this season with starting pitcher Tom Eshelman holding that title with three. Alex Cobb, who will start on Thursday, has a team-high 34 strikeouts. However, Baltimore has a team ERA of 4.40 which is 14th in baseball and a 1.31 WHIP which is also 14th. Opposing hitters or averaging .244 at the plate against Baltimore pitching which is 18th. The starting rotation has just eight Quality Starts which is 24th and the Orioles must search for starting pitching during the off-season. The 32-year-old Cobb is 1-5 with a 4.76 ERA and the Orioles have lost each of the right-hander's last three starts.
At the plate, Baltimore is averaging .253 as a team which is 11th in baseball and has a .421 slugging percentage good enough for 15th. The Orioles have scored 246 runs which is 18th in the league and have an on base percentage of .318 which is also 18th. Leading the way at the plate for Baltimore is second baseman Hanser Alberto who has a team-high .286 batting average. Baltimore's first baseman Renato Nunez has a team-high 12 home runs and has knocked in 30 runs, just behind RBIs leader Anthony Santander with 32.
Boston pitching may be the worst in the majorsThe Boston Red Sox pitching staff could easily be listed as the worst in MLB. The Red Sox have the worst team ERA at 5.72 and the worst WHIP at 1.60. Boston is allowing opposing hitters to average .280 at the plate which is 29th out of 30 teams in baseball. The best team pitching stat for Boston is Quality Starts at 7, but that is 28th out of 30 teams in the majors. Starting on the mound for Boston on Thursday will be Martin Perez, who is leading the Red Sox in wins with three, in strikeouts with 44 and has the best ERA of any starter at 3.88. However, Boston has lost four of their lefthander’s last 5 starts.
The Red Sox have been much better at the plate than on the mound but are still lacking. Boston has a team batting average of .266 which is 5th in baseball and its 447 slugging percentage is 8th. The Red Sox have scored 258 runs which is 13th in the majors and have an on-base percentage of .328 which is 11th. Center fielder Alex Verdugo is leading all regulars for Boston with a .330 batting average and has a slugging percentage of .508. Third baseman Rafael Devers has been the biggest power source for Boston with team-highs in home runs with 11 and RBIs with 36.
- Boston has won each of the last four against a right-handed starter
- The Red Sox have won six of the last eight when playing as the favorite
- Baltimore has lost each of the last seven on the road
- The Orioles have lost five of the last six overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Baltimore and Boston have had very poor seasons to say the least. However, one bright spot on the pitching staff for Boston has been left-hander Martin Perez who is 3-4 with a solid 3.88 ERA on a team that has the worst ERA in baseball. The Red Sox have won six of the last eight when labeled as the favorite, which is not been very often this season, and against right-handed starters, the Red Sox have won four straight. Head-to-head, Boston has won 35 of the last 51 meetings between the two.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox -141
Full-Game Total Pick
Baltimore has a much better team ERA than does Boston at 4.40 compared to 5.72. However, the total has finished under in 4 of the last 6 meetings between the two and in seven of the last 11 meetings the two have played at Fenway Park. For Baltimore, the total has finished under and six of the last eight and in nine of the last 12 when playing against a team from the American League East.
Prediction: UNDER 9.5