The Boston Red Sox are returning home off a 3-3 road trip that saw them win two out of three against the Kansas City Royals last weekend and then drop two out of three to the Tampa Bay Rays this week. The Red Sox will face the first-place team in the American League East, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are coming in off a series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels and are currently on a five-game win streak. The Red Sox against the Orioles this season are 3-3 and have outscored them 41-40.
Boston Red Sox (72-68) vs. Baltimore Orioles (88-51)
Date: Friday, September 8
Time: 7:10 pm EST
Date: Saturday, September 9
Time: 4:10 pm EST
Date: Sunday, September 10
Time: 1:35 pm EST
Probable Starting Pitchers
Game 1: Tanner Houck (4-8, 5.07 ERA) vs. Kyle Bradish (10-6, 3.03 ERA)
Houck gets the ball to start the series, making his 17th start of the season. He posts a 4.42 FIP, a 1.31 WHIP, a 3.2 BB/9, and an 8.3 K/9. His last start came against the Kansas City Royals, going five innings and giving up four runs on seven hits; he walked one and struck out five. In his career against the Orioles, he’s appeared in seven games, making three starts, going 3-2 in 24.2 innings of work with a 3.28 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, and a 9.1 K/0; he has made two starts this season against the Orioles, going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, and a 6.3 K/9. Houck will face off against Kyle Bradish, who is making his 26th start of the season, posting a 3.44 FIP, a 1.11 WHIP, a 2.5 BB/9, and an 8.8 K/9. In his career against the Red Sox, Bradish has made six starts, going 0-4 with a 9.36 ERA, a 1.84 WHIP, and a 6.1 K/9; this season against the Red Sox, he made one start going 2.1 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits, walked four and struck out one taking the loss in that start.
Game 2: Chris Sale (6-3, 4.46 ERA) vs. Jack Flaherty (8-8, 4.84 ERA)
Sale will get the middle game, making his 17th season start. He is coming off a win over the Royals going five innings; he didn’t allow a run on two hits; he walked two and struck out five. Sale posts a 3.67 FIP, a 1.16 WHIP, a 2.5 BB/9, and an 11.0 K/9. In his career against the Orioles, Sale has made 27 appearances with 21 starts, posting a 10-5 record, a 4.12 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, and an 11.6 K/9; this season against them, he has made two starts going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA, a 2.38 WHIP, and a 6.8 K/9. Sale will face Jack Flaherty, who the Orioles acquired at the trade deadline. Since joining Baltimore, he has made five starts, going 1-2 with a 6.66 ERA, a 5.03 FIP, a 1.52 WHIP, a 3.7 BB/9, and a 10.7 K/9. Flaherty has never faced the Red Sox in his career.
Game 3: Brayan Bello (11-8, 3.61 ERA) vs. Grayson Rodriguez (5-3, 4.91 ERA)
Bello gets the finale, making his 25th start of the season. He is coming off a win against the Tampa Bay Rays, going six innings, giving up three runs on five hits; he walked two and struck out seven. Bello posts a 4.35 FIP, a 1.27 WHIP, a 2.5 BB/9, and a 7.4 K/9. He has made one start in his career against the Orioles with that start coming this year in which took a loss going 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on three hits; he walked four and struck out seven. Bello is expected to face Grayson Rodriguez in the series’ final game. Rodriguez would make his 20th start of the season. Rodriguez has never faced the Red Sox in his career, with this being his first big league season.
Red Sox vs. Orioles Batting Leaders
The Red Sox are barely hanging on by a thread in the postseason picture. This series could allow them to get back into it with a series win. The pitching matchups line up to match up nicely for the Red Sox as Flaherty has struggled since joining the Orioles, and Bello gets the final game, so I think despite the Orioles being good this year, the Red Sox win this series, winning the last two games of the series. If they steal the first game, it could set up for a potential series sweep, which would be huge for the Red Sox and their playoff chances.