The Boston Red Sox are in Baltimore for game two of a three-game series with the Orioles, looking to stay atop the American League East standings. The Red Sox took game one last night in the eleven innings on an Andrew Benintendi RBI single in the top of the eleventh and held on for a 10-8 win. Boston right fielder Mookie Betts checked in with a four-RBI performance in the win. The Red Sox will start Drew Pomeranz (16-5 3.28 ERA) tonight, and the Orioles will send Kevin Gausman (11-10 4.83 ERA) to the mound to counter. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.
Boston Red Sox -103 at Baltimore Orioles -117
Drew Pomeranz (16-5 3.28 ERA) vs Kevin Gausman (11-10 4.83 ERA)
Drew Pomeranz just keeps winning this season for the Boston Red Sox. His 16 wins on the season are tied for second in the American League, tied with the likes of Chris Sale and Jason Vargas, and just one win away from probable Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. That is some pretty good company for the longtime journeyman left-hander. And it hasn’t been all mashing bats and run support that has seen Pomeranz win so consistently, his 3.28 ERA is top five in the league as well. It has been a breakout campaign this season.
Pomeranz is 10-1 in his last eleven decisions, and the Red Sox are 20-9 in his 29 starts this year, this guy just wins. Pomeranz isn’t a dominant strikeout pitcher that is going to give you eight innings plus in a game, but he will give you a solid six with a great chance to win the game and with these powerful Boston bats, that is all they need.
The Baltimore Orioles had high hopes of a huge comeback and a trip to the postseason when they caught fire in August. They went from laughing stocks to true contenders, and their power bats were leading the way. However, reality has set in for the O’s, and after cooling down as of late, their playoff hopes have been dashed. The Orioles are just 5-12 in September and are stumbling to the finish line as the rest of the American League feasts on their weak starting rotation. Part of that weak starting rotation will be on the mound tonight in the form of Kevin Gausman.
Gausman has had some great stuff at times this year. You need to look no further than his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, where Gausman went seven innings and gave up only one run in the Baltimore victory. Or the 7.2 inning gem that Gausman had against these Boston Red Sox on August 26th that saw Gausman shutout the mighty Red Sox on just four hits. The problem this season for Gausman is consistency. In his two starts squished in around those great efforts? A three-inning pounding from the New York Yankees, where he got blasted for five runs, and a four-inning start against the Angels where he gave up five runs.
It has truly been feast or famine for Gausman this year on the mound. Can he get you a quality start and lead his team to the win? Absolutely. Can he get blasted and not see the fifth inning? Of course, he can. It is a bit of Russian Roulette every time Gausman takes the mound this year for the Orioles.
With that type of inconsistency and coupled with the fact that the Boston Red Sox are a really good team, one would wonder why the Orioles are favored in this one. They are the home team and are a much better team at home than they are on the road, but at this point, their results don’t really matter. Their season is over, and the Sox desperately need a win to hold off the surging Yankees, so I think the Boston side is the side to back. The fact that we are getting a little bit of dog money is just the cherry on top in this one. Give me the better starter, with the better offense, on the better team, tonight in Baltimore.
The Bet: Boston Red Sox +104