Two of the hottest teams in baseball begin a four-game series Thursday night when the Boston Red Sox visit the Seattle Mariners. These two teams will play seven games against one another in the next 11 days. For Thursday’s game, the Red Sox are listed at -132 over the Mariners to win.
For Thursday’s game, the Red Sox are listed as -132 favorites to win.
Boston cooled down a little in May after a scorching hot April. But thanks to playing the Tigers, White Sox, and Orioles, the Red Sox are back on track. They have won eight of their last 11, although they still trail the Yankees by a game in the AL East despite having the most wins in baseball.
Seattle, however, has been even better of late, winning 11 of 13 dating back to the end of May. The Mariners are fresh off a three-game sweep of the Angels that has kept them half a game ahead of the Astros in the AL West, even with Houston winning seven in a row. For whatever reason, the Mariners have thrived since losing Robinson Cano to injury and his subsequent suspension, so they’ll look to keep it going with the Red Sox coming to town.
Just Another Lefty
David Price starts for the Red Sox on Thursday. While his name still conjures up images of an ace, he’s had a rather modest season. In 13 starts, Price is 7-4 with a 4.00 ERA. He’s still capable of tossing a gem and looking the part of an ace, but most days he’s just another lefty. Of course, with Boston’s lineup and bullpen behind him, Price can usually put his team in a good position to win.
Not surprisingly, Price has good career numbers against left-handed hitters like Denard Span and Kyle Seager. However, Nelson Cruz has good numbers against Price. Also, the lefty has never faced Mitch Haniger, and he’s had limited experience facing Ryon Healy and Guillermo Heredia, so he’ll have to be careful against Seattle’s right-handed hitters, who could do some damage against him.
In Name Only
Opposing Price for the Mariners will be Felix Hernandez, another ace in name only. Age and injuries appear to be finally catching up with King Felix, who is 6-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 14 starts this season. Unlike the past couple of years, Hernandez has managed to stay healthy this season. However, the results haven’t been great, especially his last time out when he gave up six runs (five earned) in three innings against a young and unproven Rays lineup.
Hernandez will have his work cut out for him against one of the top lineups in baseball. Mookie Betts came back from the DL on Monday and then hit a home run on Wednesday, as he looks to pick up where he left off. To be fair, a few members of the Red Sox are scuffling as of late, but Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez have helped to carry the team offensively over the last week.
With both Price and Hernandez not quite being the pitchers they used to be, this is a tough game to call, as both teams have competent bullpens and capable lineups. With the Red Sox flying cross country with no off day, the Mariners may have a slight advantage in the series opener. Bet on the Seattle Mariners +132 over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.