Keegan Akin (1-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Nick Pivetta (0-0, 15.88 ERA)
The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox will open a three-game series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. The Orioles are on the outside looking in at the postseason, but their record of 23-31 is more than fine. It doesn’t sound too great, but if we said that the Orioles would be only eight games below .500, a lot of O’s fans would be content with that result.
The Orioles have been able to showcase some promise and something to look forward to. A lot of good fortunes would have to go their way to reach the postseason, but they are still alive in this race and haven’t been statistically eliminated. The Orioles have just a 1.5% chance of reaching the postseason before the season started, so all things considered, this shortened 60-game campaign has been a success.
The Toronto Blue Jays are in possession of the final postseason spot in the American League. They have a record of 28-26 going into Tuesday against the Yankees. The good news for the Orioles is that they wrap up the season against the Blue Jays, so if they can do damage in Baltimore, and then follow up with a sweep of Toronto, maybe there’s a small glimmer of hope for the O’s.
It’s obviously not going to be easy, but until they’re statistically eliminated, the curtain isn’t closed just yet. The curtain is closed on the Red Sox, though. They might have the brand name, but that was about the only thing the Red Sox had in 2020. The Red Sox weren’t expected to compete without Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez in the rotation.
Too many holes to make up for. Former Philadelphia Phillie, Nick Pivetta, is expected to make his Red Sox debut on Tuesday night. Pivetta was acquired from the Phillies in a trade for Brandon Workman. The Red Sox are going to take a flier on Pivetta in hopes of him returning to form.
The Phillies were high on him as a prospect, and he showed moments during his major league career, but ultimately flamed out in Philadelphia. Perhaps he can get his confidence back in Boston. 25 year-old rookie Keegan Akin will counter for the O’s. Head below for our free Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox pick for September 22, 2020.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox MLB Betting Odds:
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction:
There have been small wins to take from this season for the Orioles. One of them has been the performance of rookie Keegan Aikin. The 25-year-old is getting his first taste of the major leagues in 2020 and has been handling it well. Aikin started as a reliever out of the bullpen and was promoted to a starting role quickly.
He has been even better as a starting pitcher versus working out of the bullpen. Aikin owns an ERA of 3.38 and 1.23 WHIP through six total appearances. After taking over as a starting hurler, Aikin has posted an ERA of 2.35 with a record of 1-1 through four outings. Note that Aikin hasn’t conceded more than 3 hits in any start.
His only troublespot was against the Yankees on September 11, but he was able to bounce back in his most recent showing. Aikin gave up 3 hits and no runs across 5 innings of work against the Atlanta Braves on September 16. If it wasn’t for that poor effort against the Yankees, Aikin would have his ERA below 2.00 as a starter.
The Red Sox of two or three years ago probably scares Aikin off here, but there isn’t a lot to like about this version of the offense. They have been average with 4.63 runs scored per game. That said, the Red Sox are coming off a big 10-2 win over the Yankees on Sunday. A game against the Orioles following that effort could be a letdown spot, though.
Nick Pivetta gets a second life with the Red Sox. It’s a big chance for Pivetta, who was shelled for a 15.88 ERA and 1.94 WHIP with the Phillies in 5.2 innings this year. That was it for the Pivetta on the Phillies, as they gave up on him after three mediocre seasons and that effort. He notched a 5.38 ERA and 1.52 WHIP last season.
Pivetta was moved to the bullpen after struggling to get into a groove. The Red Sox are willing to give him a chance as a starter to hopefully build his confidence up against the O’s on Tuesday. His struggles carried over to this season, as noted above. I’d need more than +101 to consider siding with Pivetta in this one. I will take my chances with Aikin and the Orioles at Fenway to keep their slim postseason dreams going.