Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction and Pick
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Probable Pitchers
- Indians: Eli Morgan (2-6, 5.98 ERA)
- Red Sox: Tanner Houck (0-3, 3.63 ERA)
The Red Sox continue to find ways to win despite all of the COVID spreading around the clubhouse. It’s essential that Boston continues their hot stretch to win an AL Wild Card spot.
Indians right-handed rookie Eli Morgan will take the hill for the second straight time against the Red Sox. Morgan allowed two runs in three innings last time out, throwing three strikeouts and a walk along with two solo shots.
Morgan’s August wasn’t the best, however. He allowed 27 hits and 15 runs in 30.1 innings including four home runs and plenty of fly balls. Fly balls are not what you want at Fenway Park.
Morgan has an ERA of 4.45 in August, so sure, he’s making improvements, but he’s still got a 5.98 ERA on the season despite his average August.
In the last 30 days, Morgan has a 6.08 xFIP along with 18.3 percent strikeouts and 8.7 percent walks. He’s inducing under 30 percent of ground balls and also giving up 40.5 percent hard contact. Lefties have some power against Morgan with a .214 ISO. Meanwhile, righties are walking 11.9 percent in their last 30 days against Morgan.
The Red Sox lineup is weak at the bottom thanks to Danny Santana, Jack Lopez, and Jonathan Arauz subbing in for players on the COVID IL. Still, Arauz has shown off some power and Lopez has hit a couple solid line drives since joining the big league club.
The lineup has an ISO of .212 and wOBA of .332 against righties in the last 30 days. Knowing Morgan allows a lot of fly balls and power from the left side is helpful.
Kyle Schwarber, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are all left-handed bats still in the lineup and ready to go. Devers has a .317 ISO while Schwarber has a .200 ISO and wOBA of .425 in the last 30 days against righties.
Hunter Renfroe has been key for this offense, hitting a .340 ISO against righties in the last 30 days as well. The club as a whole only strikes out 20.4 percent and is walking 11.4 percent in the last 30 days against righties.
Morgan only faced the Red Sox last week. He allowed home runs from Bobby Dalbec and Devers but both were solo shots. Those were the only two hits he allowed. This time around, I like the Red Sox to get more runners on base before they hit deep balls.
Again, Morgan struggles to get strikeouts and walks a ton of batters on a game-to-game basis. Going on the road in Fenway Park will be difficult for a flyball pitcher like Morgan. Home runs will happen.
Morgan isn’t terrible at starting games. Players facing Morgan for the first time in a game are hitting an OPS of .686. But it’s the second time around the order where Morgan doesn’t fare well. He allows an OPS of 1.038 and has allowed nine home runs in 98 at-bats when a batter is facing him for the second time.
Let’s take the Red Sox to score three runs in the first five innings on the team total at over 2.5.
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction: Red Sox F5 TT Over 2.5 @ -135