Boston (87-64) at Baltimore (82-69)
When: Wednesday, September 21st 2016
Where: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The Boston Red Sox are streaking at the right time and they’re turning a tight AL East race into a runaway and have a chance to win their seventh straight game when they visit the Baltimore Orioles for the third of a four-game set. The Red Sox lead in the division is now four games over the Blue Jays, not the Orioles or Yankees, because the Red Sox have put the Yankees out of their misery and are trying to do the same to Baltimore. The Orioles power offense has been limited to just two runs in each of their last four games, but have had success against tonight’s starter Clay Buchholz. The O’s have seen their Wild Card lead slip to 1.5 games over the Tigers after Detroit won last night. David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz hit another home run last night which gives him the most ever by a player in his final season. Boston might be able to focus now on getting the best record in the American League as they are just 2.5 games behind Texas for that honor.
Pitchers: Red Sox – Clay Buchholz (7-10, 5.20 ERA) | Orioles – Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.94)
Buchholz is trying to lock down the No. 3 starter roll for the postseason, but got some competition last night with Eduardo Rodriguez’s impressive outing last night. Buchholz bounced back from a rough outing in Toronto (6 runs in 3 innings) by holding the New York Yankees to two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in six innings on Friday. As we mentioned above, Buchholz has not been great against Baltimore this year, going 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three games – one start.
Ubaldo Jimenez has been pitching well over the last month and gets the start over the struggling Yovani Gallardo tonight. Jimenez had a string of four straight quality starts come to an end on Friday but went seven innings and allowed four runs while striking out eight without a walk in a no decision against Tampa Bay. Jimenez made two starts against Boston in the first half of the season and was lit up for a total of nine runs in 10 innings.
I made the mistake of taking the Orioles last night, but I won’t do it again. Yes, Buchholz hasn’t been great, but neither has the Baltimore lineup and Jimenez has been rocked by Boston this year. The Red Sox are on a roll and they keep it going tonight.
Pick: Red Sox -105