The Boston Red Sox are relying on Clay Buchholz to find his form in 2016. Once a standout during the 2013 season, with a 1.74 ERA, Buchholz has fallen backwards the last two seasons. Last season I would say he pretty well saved his career, after a 2014 season where he pitched for a 5.34 ERA. Buchholz came back with a 3.26 ERA a year ago, but still off pace from the kind of work we’ve seen from him in the past.
The Red Sox didn’t get any help from David Price in the first start of his career in Boston, getting belted for five runs over five innings against the Orioles yesterday. Buchholz will get his chance tonight against the Orioles. The O’s went on to win the contest by a score of 9-7. Baltimore have started out on fire, winning six straight games to being the season. Did you call that?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. It isn’t even mid-April yet, the Orioles could go on and lose six straight games. Now that wouldn’t surprise me much at all. The Orioles have always been one of those teams who are hard to put your finger on. They will send out Mike Wright to the mound this evening, his first full-time job in the rotation. Wright came to Baltimore late last year and didn’t showcase his best work. The Orioles gave him nine starts a year ago and posted a 6.04 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. That won’t cut it now.
The pressure is on him to keep the streak going and getting another win for the Orioles. Every win matters, and this early season spurt is going to come back to help them out later in the season. They’re going to need every win they can get. However, Wright might be their weak-link. The backend of their pitching is not all that impressive and should prove to be a big liability as the season progresses. Wright, though, hopes to be one of those unknowns who impresses in 2016. A 7-0 start and taking two in a row against the Red Sox would be some kind of start to this season. We’ll see if they’ll be able to do it on the road at Fenway.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox
Mike Wright (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-0, 11.25 ERA)
Wright had had one start against the Red Sox in his career, which came last season. It didn’t go so well for him at all. It was a welcome to the big leagues kind of moment. Wright got reamed for 6 runs over 3 innings, including a 2.33 WHIP and .400 batting average against. It equates to a 18.00 ERA. Perhaps he got the nerves out of the way last season, but pitching at Fenway in your first ever start as a full-time starter has to make you feel a little anxious. The Red Sox have been seeing the ball well, as they’ve scored at least 6 runs in all but one game thus far. Wright needs to hit his spots tonight, or he could get the yank early against this offense.
Is Buchholz going to be able to find himself tonight? He got ripped for five runs over four innings, with a 2.25 ERA and .333 batting average against. This wasn’t against some high-octane offense, it was the Cleveland Indians who were able to get to him. Not to say he isn’t going to have some outings this season, but it wasn’t the start he was looking for in 2016. The balls should be flying around again tonight, after a high scoring 9-7 affair yesterday. It leads to a play on the OVER 9 for me on Tuesday night.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-110)