After a pitiful performance from the Cleveland Indians yesterday, we go to Boston where the Pittsburgh Pirates and Red Sox will dance at Fenway on Thursday afternoon. Neither team have excelled thus far, and while that goes for 90 percent of the league to this point, the Pirates are never going to take off.
The Pirates had their chances the past few seasons, but didn’t make the bread when they had the opportunity in the postseason. The Red Sox have been the class of baseball over the last decade, but they are entering waters they haven’t been in a long time without David Ortiz.
The Red Sox went and acquired one of the most prized free agent pitchers, Chris Sale, and he was magnificent in his debut in a Red Sox uniform. If he and David Price can combine to be an effective 1-2 punch, the Red Sox may have something brewing once again.
Price is fighting his way back from an injury, so we’ve yet to see what he can do coming off the DL. Eduardo Rodriguez will step on the hump this afternoon in Boston, with Chad Kuhl countering for the Pirates. We seek a winning pick at Fenway on Thursday, jump below for the Pirates vs. Red Sox pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Chad Kuhl (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Eduardo has held strong enough to grab a spot in the Red Sox rotation over the last three seasons. Since 2015, he’s been a fixture in the rotation. He’s been good in spots, and bad in others. Rodriguez is your prototypical average, middle of the rotation stuffer.
He got taken a ride in his first start of the year, posting an ERA of 7.20 against the Tigers. Rodriguez allowed 4 runs across 5 innings. Not the best start for a guy who is looking to bust out this year and improve on his 4.71 ERA from last season. This is not going to get what he’s looking for, an increase in his paycheck.
Kuhl got some action last season, fourteen starts to be exact as a rookie. He threw for a 4.20 ERA to make an adequate debut. Kuhl allowed 3 runs in 5 innings his first start of the year, against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves aren’t the biggest measuring stick, in fact, they have one of the worst offenses in baseball. He’s about to get a step-up in competition this afternoon.
I expect the nerves to be there for him pitching at Fenway. While he limited the damage against Atlanta, note that he posted a 2.20 WHIP. The Red Sox are going to know how to take advantage of all those base runners. I could see some runs being score this afternoon, with a pick on the OVER a solid selection on Thursday afternoon.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (-110)