Orioles vs Red Sox

Orioles vs Red Sox – 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on September 23, 2020

Three’s frankly nothing much to play for in the series finale between the Orioles and Red Sox on Thursday other than possibly avoiding last-place in the AL East Division. Then again, the worse a team’s record the better its 2021 first-round draft pick.

How to Bet Orioles at Red Sox MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Fenway Park
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Alex Cobb/Martin Perez
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
  • Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
  • Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Baltimore? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The O’s are winless in games this season in which they have scored three-or-fewer runs. On the first pitch of a plate appearance, the Orioles rank first in the AL and second in the majors in batting average (.412), and rank second in the AL and fourth in the majors in OPS (1.096).

The Orioles have been much better than people expected this year but still are going to finish with a losing record and most likely fourth in the AL East. This team is probably two years from playoff contention again. The Birds will get arguably their best offensive player back next year in outfielder Trey Mancini.

In March, a routine physical showed that Mancini had low iron levels and a malignant tumor in his colon. The Orioles outfielder underwent surgery to remove it on March 12 — the same day that Major League Baseball was forced to shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He recently finished chemotherapy treatments.

The Birds could dump overpriced first baseman/DH Chris Davis soon after the season ends. This is the third consecutive poor season for Davis. Since the start of 2018, he has produced a horrendous .169/.251/.299 batting line. In his 929 plate appearances, Davis has just 24 doubles and 28 homers while striking out 348 times. With Davis’ latest stint on the injured list, Ryan Mountcastle has moved over to first base. The bat first prospect has been as hoped for.

It’s scheduled to be Alex Cobb (1-5) on the mound. Cobb yielded two runs over six innings in a loss to the Rays last Friday. Cobb gave up RBI singles in the first and third innings, which was enough to put him in position for the loss. Cobb has posted a 4.76 ERA through nine starts this season.

Cobb, before Friday, threw in eight games and allowed 42 hits in 39 innings pitched. His ERA was 5.03, but dipped to 4.76 after one of his better performances of the season.  He is the most expensive member of the Orioles’ rotation. But where he fits into future plans is still to be decided.

“It’s been up and down,” Cobb said of his season. “I feel like it started off pretty well and then, middle part toward this latter part…we’ve been trying to make a lot of adjustments with the delivery. I think it’s going to pay off a lot in the long-run, but it’s a challenge to kind of do that in-season and feel comfortable out there. It’s something you have to go through in-game situations, to go through stuff and see how hitters are responding to your stuff and see if you’re on the right path.”

Why Bet on Boston? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

It has been nothing short of disastrous season for the Red Sox and there’s frankly few bright spots to point out. The team will pick very high in the 2021 draft. Now that Baltimore is far out of the playoff race, if they manage to out-tank the Red Sox in this series then the O’s could potentially steal Boston’s spot for one of the top draft picks. The Red Sox wrap up the season with three games this weekend against the Atlanta Braves.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner says he expects the team to return to playoff contention next year.  The club’s pitching staff ranks last in the league in ERA and the Sox figure to look at a free agent starter such as Trevor Bauer.

“We’ve got a lot of assets and, as everybody knows, we spend and we’re not a small-market team,” said Werner. “We don’t want this to be a long rebuilding process. We’re going to be back next year. … There’s no secret to the fact that pitching wins pennants for you. Our pitching wasn’t acceptable this year. It’s going to start with pitching.”

Pitching reinforcements this year didn’t arrive until mid-September, when the organization finally decided to call up Tanner Houck (11 innings, no earned runs, 11 strikeouts), and got Darwinzon Hernandez and Nathan Eovaldi back from the injured list.

It’s scheduled to be veteran lefty Martin Perez (3-4) here. Perez spun six scoreless frames as part of a no-decision against the Yankees last Friday. He held the Bombers to just three hits (all of them singles) while walking one and striking out seven. The bullpen coughed up the lead from there and the Yankees won in extra innings.

Perez (3.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) has been picking up steam and making that $6.5-million option for 2021 look like a no-brainer. Starting depth is critical, as the Red Sox often prove, and with money to spend next year, Perez’s contract shouldn’t keep them from spending big in other areas.

last pitched vs. the Orioles on Aug. 22 in Baltimore. He struck out six over seven innings of one-run ball but had to settle for a no-decision. Pat Valaika hit one over the right-center field wall for a solo shot in the second inning, but that’s all the Orioles were able to muster off of Perez.

Expert PredictionRed Sox 6, Orioles 3 
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