The train keeps rolling on for the Boston Red Sox. The only thing to worry about at this point is if the Red Sox are hitting their ceiling a little too early. With only two weeks remaining until the postseason, the Red Sox are the hottest team in baseball, winning eight straight games. There’s no doubt that David Ortiz farewell tour is going alright. Like Peyton Manning, Ortiz will look to finish up his historic career with another ring on his finger. Manning won the Super Bowl with the Broncos, and now Ortiz is searching for another World Series. It’s hard to say that they won’t at the moment, but the Red Sox know they aren’t going to eventually lose a game. A game would be ideal, however, if it turned into multiple losses it could come at the wrong time, say in the postseason. You don’t play to lose games, though, so the Red Sox will try and ride this wave as long as they can.
Can they keep the wave going all the way into the latter point of October? There are definitely other teams out there worthy of winning the World Series. I don’t think it’s going to be a smooth trip in the postseason. They are going to face their adversity, and we’re going to see if they will overcome it once again. Betting against David Ortiz at this point seems like a foolish thing to do, I will say that much. David Price pitched considerably well last night and the Red Sox secured another crucial win over the Baltimore Orioles. Price has improved tenfold after getting rocked around during the first month of the season. They are going to need more of the same from him in the playoffs. Tonight we’ll see if they stay hot against the Rays and Chris Archer. Drew Pomeranz will get the nod for the Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Drew Pomeranz (2-5, 4.91 ERA) vs Chris Archer (8-18, 4.05 ERA)
A lot of pitchers would be happy with an ERA of 4.05, it’s about average for a starter. However, for a guy like Chris Archer, this has been a failure of a year. A 8-18 record next to his name is something to behold. Archer pitched for a 3.23, 3.33, and 3.23 ERA the last three seasons. That is the model of consistency if I ever saw it. He isn’t going to like what he did this season to mess with his career ERA. Archer hasn’t finished with an ERA above 4.00 since his rookie season. There is time to get it below there, but he faces a tough test tonight against the Red Sox. Boston has had their offense going full-speed. They haven’t scored less than 5 runs on this eight-game stretch of wins.
Archer has been less than adequate against the Red Sox in his career. Note that he holds a 5.56 ERA and 1.67 WHIP against them in fifteen starts. It’s tough to theorize that it’s going to change against this red hot lineup. Pomeranz has been feeling a lot of hurt lately, posting a 8.74 ERA in his last three outings, including an awful 2.03 WHIP. I think the total is just a tad too low in this game. 8 seems just about right, but 7.5 leaves us with some nice value on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 7.5 RUNS (-110)