The Boston Red Sox continue to inch forward to securing the American League East title. After winning four straight, the latest coming last night against rival New York Yankees yesterday, the Red Sox have their sights set on the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox have generated a three-game lead in the division, with the Orioles three back and the Blue Jays trailing by four games. Boston has an excellent opportunity here against the Orioles to put a stranglehold on the series.
For the Orioles, they really needed a chance to play the Red Sox to expatriate the process of catching up to them. Trading wins isn’t going to do them any good at this point if the Red Sox keep winning like they have been. This is their chance to jump up a game on the Red Sox with a win. As it stands now the Orioles would be playing in the Wild Card Round, as would the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays are limping, but they are still two games up on the Tigers and Mariners. Their offense has been stale, but if they can get it going at the right time, and put this slump in the past they are still a team to be aware of.
The Blue Jays are certainly a hot-cold team, they just need to find the hot switch soon. The Red Sox have it on and don’t seem to be laying up any. They scored 7, 7, 6, and 5 runs in their last four games, which were all wins. The Red Sox have also gone 7-3 in their last ten games, including three efforts where they poured it on and scored more than 10 runs. Boston is capable of doing that, and they are capable of pitching a gem.
They’re a favorite to win the World Series and it’s easy to see why. It would almost feel like a storybook ending for David Ortiz if everything works out that way. Before then though, the Red Sox have an important game with the Orioles on tap. A solid showing by the Orioles and everything could flip just like that. Porcello will try and prevent that from happening tonight.
Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles
Rick Porcello (20-4, 3.12 ERA) vs Dylan Bundy (9-5, 3.88 ERA)
Rick Porcello has been pitching with a purpose this season. This has been his best year on the hump since the Tigers, where he finished with an ERA of 3.43. Thus, he will comfortably beat his previous season high. The Red Sox paid Porcello a good chunk of coin to come to Boston, and they have truly gotten a solid ROI on their investment. Porcello is a workhorse, seemingly always staying healthy while being a quality pitcher. Knock on wood that he doesn’t get injured tonight. Porcello comes into Monday night with a spectacular 20-4 record and a 3.12 ERA. He’s been on fire, dating all the way back July 24th where it was the last day he allowed more than 3 runs.
Understandably, Porcello has sported strong numbers in his last three starts: 2.05 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and a .200 OBA. The bonus with betting on Porcello has been that the sportsbooks have often overlooked him. He has been a tremendous value pick. I don’t play much DFS, but I venture to say that he was a value in that arena as well.
Porcello will take on Dylan Bundy of the Orioles tonight at Camden Yards. Bundy has done quite well overall this season, which is his first as a fulltime starter. He only pitched 1.2 innings a year ago, spending pretty much all of his time in the minors. The Orioles made the right move on bringing him on up, as he has posted a 3.88 ERA as a rookie, which is certainly respectable. My problem with Bundy, though, is his arm stamina which might be starting to impact him in September. In half of his last six starts, Bundy allowed 5 runs. He’s yielded an ERA of 4.91 ERA over his last three starts. You are probably out of the game and broke if you’ve faded Porcello all season. I’m going to grab a piece of him, as I expect the good times to start rolling for the Red Sox and Porcello in Baltimore.
PICK: RED SOX TO WIN -125