Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Where to watch: MASN, NESN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Red Sox -335, Orioles +260
Season record (entering Saturday)
Orioles: 47-100 (Last place, AL East)
Red Sox: 84-65 (2nd place, AL East)
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Orioles - Red Sox preview and analysis
Recent form (entering Saturday)
Orioles: 3-7 in last 10
Red Sox: won 3 straight
The Boston Red Sox found a way to two of their biggest wins of the season when all hope seemed lost.
The Red Sox getting two of three over the Seattle Mariners has put things into motion for Boston to reclaim the top spot in the American League Wild Card race for the time being.
And Boston got off to a good start at keeping that positioning after a 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday in the first of their three-game series. The finale, and the final time the clubs will meet in Boston this season, is Sunday.
Boston leads the New York Yankees by a half game for the top wild-card spot, which would equal home-field advantage for the one-game playoff. The Toronto Blue Jays, after their recent surge, are also chasing the Red Sox and Yankees for a wild card spot.
After being placed in COVID-19 protocol this past week, Chris Sale made his return to the mound for the Red Sox and had a strong five innings. He only had one strikeout, but allowed one earned run. If there’s ever a team you want to come back off the IL against, it’d be the 100-loss Orioles.
“I just think that this was just kind of how the game played out. I know you guys were watching, obviously, and my fastball wasn’t really jumping out of my hand tonight,” said Sale. “So I really had to just rely on my secondary pitches, my slider, my changeup. I was leaning on my defense to make some plays, and they did that. I think it was just kind of how the game played out.”
Bobby Dalbec continued his strong run with his 23rd home run of the season, and Hunter Renfroe drove in three runs to lead Boston’s offense. It also helped that the Red Sox drew five walks, but such is life being a part of the Orioles’ pitching staff this season.
Cedric Mullins had one of the four Baltimore hits to keep his average at .300. If there’s anything to watch the final 15 games for the Orioles, it’d be if their All-Star can keep that average at top-tier status.
Keegan Akin allowed four runs and walked three through four innings for the Orioles, who became the first team to reach 100 losses this season.
Any time these teams get together, the Red Sox put a whooping on Baltimore every time. Unless something drastic alters the Multiverse, Boston isn’t losing this weekend and certainly isn’t losing on Sunday with one of its aces on the mound. Boston wins 10-0
The Orioles are 10-34 (-12.8 net games on the moneyline) when an underdog between +175 and +250.
The Red Sox are 10-1 (+6.8 net games) when favored by -200 or more.
Players to watch
Orioles: Baltimore may have the AL Rookie of the Year in Ryan Mountcastle, which is a huge win after this kind of season. Mountcastle is knocking on the door of 30 homers and has somehow amassed 81 RBI this season.
Red Sox: More on Dalbec’s tear over the last month; he’s batting .310 with nine homers and 21 RBI. His on-base percentage of .402 would be considered tops in the entire league over a 162- game span.
Cedric Mullins (L) CF
Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
Trey Mancini (R) DH
Austin Hays (R) RF
Ramon Urias (R) 2B
Pedro Severino (R) C
Ryan McKenna (R) LF
Pat Valaika (R) SS
Kelvin Gutierrez (R) 3B
Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
Rafael Devers (L) 3B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
J.D. Martinez (R) DH
Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
Bobby Dalbec (R) 1B
Christian Vazquez (R) C
Jose Iglesias (R) 2B
Probable starting pitcher: Alexander Wells (BAL) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)
Batting average: Cedric Mullins (.300)
Hits: Cedric Mullins (166)
Home runs: Cedric Mullins & Ryan Mountcastle (29)
RBI: Ryan Mountcastle (81)
Stolen bases: Cedric Mullins (28)
Wins: Matt Harvey (6)
Saves: Cesar Valdez (8)
Batting average: Xander Bogaerts (.300)
Hits: J.D. Martinez (150)
Home runs: Rafael Devers (34)
RBI: Rafael Devers (103)
Stolen bases: Christian Vazquez (8)
Wins: Eduardo Rodriguez (11)
Saves: Matt Barnes (24)
ERA: Nathan Eovaldi (3.52)
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