Take Wacha and Boston in Coinflip

Red Sox vs. Orioles, 5:05 ET

I really am rooting for the Orioles to make the playoffs. I think it is kind of a cool story when teams beat expectations. I can’t imagine even their front office expected the season to go this well. Then they traded away their best player and they are still in contention. It is a little crazy, but I do hope the ride continues, but it is pretty unlikely as they are slipping further back in the race.

One reason they are even in the discussion is that their pitching staff has put them in a good spot. When was the last time the Orioles had a positive run differential? That would be 2016, also the last time they made the playoffs. Jordan Lyles has been one of the better pitchers for the Orioles, at least when he is at home. In his 12 home starts, he’s allowed just 23 earned runs over 70.1 innings, good for a 2.94 ERA. Outside of April and June, most of his season has been consistent with a mid-three ERA in each month. He has faced Boston three times and the Orioles have won two of the three games. He posted a quality start in the first matchup in Baltimore and then has given up at least three runs in less than five innings in both of the last two starts against Boston.

Michael Wacha is taking the ball for the Red Sox and he has been their best pitcher on the year even with his injury. Like Lyles, he does seem to enjoy starting at home more than on the road, which could cause some issues for the game today. However, his road starts aren’t that bad. He has a 3.23 ERA and is giving up the same amount of home runs on the road as at home. The problem is in 10 more innings, he’s allowed 20 more hits on the road. For whatever reason, people are just getting on base more against him in the road starts. He has only made one start against Baltimore this year, it was a road start and he went 5.2 innings and only allowed four hits with no earned runs.

Baltimore probably recognizes that they are falling out of contention, and it is unlikely that they make the playoffs. That doesn’t mean they won’t be motivated to play the game or something, but it does chance the dynamic a bit. The best play for us here is likely the Red Sox at a -110 price.

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Written by David Troy

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