Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction and Pick

With just one week left in the season and a battle for the AL Wild Card still up in the air, we have the Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox prediction and pick from MLB expert Jason Radowitz. Jason gives his best pick for Tuesday's AL East matchup.
Jason Radowitz
Tue, September 28, 7:03 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction and Pick

When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 7:05 pm EST

Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Probable Pitchers:

  • Red Sox: Chris Sale (5-0, 2.57 ERA)
  • Orioles: Bruce Zimmermann (4-4, 4.83 ERA)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Prediction

Orioles vs. Red Sox Odds

This is going to be a fun week of baseball. The Boston Red Sox are just one game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and 1.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners for the final AL Wild Card spot.

The Yankees are currently in the first Wild Card spot, but just a game above the Red Sox.

So basically, what I’m getting at is that the Red Sox need to win games and can’t let up against the Orioles, who are 50-106 on the season.

Baltimore will pitch Bruce Zimmermann for the first time since June 13 after an injury sidelined him for two months.

We don’t know how long the lefty will be out there, but either way, Zimmermann and the Orioles bullpen is never a good combo.

On the season, Zimmermann has a 4.66 xFIP along with just 20.2 percent strikeouts and 7.6 percent walks. The left-hander has struggled to induce a high amount of ground balls and is allowing 27.4 percent line drives on the season. This isn’t a sample size of one month. This is the season. Allowing that many line drives is not going to help any pitcher succeed on a major league mound.

Zimmermann also allowed 43.9 percent hard contact and was rocked by righties before hitting the Injured List with a .350 wOBA and ISO of .204. Lefties also had a .354 wOBA and hit a high number of line drives against him.

I continue to bring up line drives because the Red Sox are smacking plenty against lefties, not just for the last 30 days but also for the full season. However, in the previous 30 days, the Red Sox are hitting 30.9 percent line drives using the projected lineup that includes seven righties and just two lefties. Of course, this lineup wouldn’t include lefty outfielder Alex Verdugo.

The Red Sox haven’t shown off much power against lefties but are getting on base at a solid rate. They’ve got a wOBA of .343 and are walking 8.4 percent of the time while hitting ground balls just 29.6 percent of the time.

Again, let me clear this up. The Red Sox are hitting 29.6 percent ground balls against lefties, and 30.9 percent line drives against lefties.

You will rarely see a team in a 30-game sample size hit more line drives than ground balls against the opposition. This is a rare opportunity. Let’s take the Red Sox Over 2.5 in the first five on the team total at -115. This is a fair price against Zimmermann and the Orioles bullpen.

Every game is massive for teams fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs. I’m not betting or basing any analysis on “must-win” games. Knowing the Red Sox will do everything in their power to win is helpful, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Boston should hit plenty of line drives in Oriole Park, and with that ballpark being a hitter-friendly ballpark, we should see a couple of long balls as well.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Pick

  • Red Sox Over 2.5 F5 TT (-115) at DraftKings

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