Two rivals looking to stay in the thick of the AL East race collide as the Boston Red Sox (12-11) head down I-95 to start a three-game set with the red-hot Baltimore Orioles (14-7) this week at Camden Yards. First pitch for Monday’s opener is set for 6:35 p.m. ET. Chris Sale (1-1, 8.00 ERA) looks to build off his best start of the season as he starts for Boston, while Dean Kremer (1-0, 6.16) goes for the O’s.
The Red Sox are slight -115 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Baltimore is listed at -105. The run total is set at 8.
Red Sox-Orioles picks: Monday, April 24
Day to day: C Reese McGuire (hand)
Out: SP James Paxton (hamstring), RP Chris Martin (shoulder), RP Joely Rodriguez (oblique), OF Adam Duvall (wrist)
Out: RP Dillon Tate (elbow), RP Mychal Givens (knee), SP John Means (elbow)
Chris Sale vs. Dean Kremer
Sale finally looked like the Sale of old in his last outing against the Minnesota Twins, striking out 11 while allowing just one run over six innings. The difference? His fastball, which was sitting around 93 previously and getting hammered as a result, was back up to 94-95 and producing whiffs like we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Boston is hoping that will help the lefty fare better this time than he did in his season-opening start against Baltimore, when he allowed seven runs over just three innings.
Kremer went against Sale during that April 1st contest and got knocked around himself, allowing five runs over three innings of work. The righty is also coming off his best start of the season, firing 6.2 scoreless frames — albeit against a dreadful Washington Nationals lineup. The righty lives and dies with his four-seamer, throwing it over 40 percent of the time and using it up in the zone to get swings and misses. That hasn’t been the case so far:
He’ll need to command the pitch much better if he hopes to survive a dangerous Boston lineup on Monday.
Boston has hit or cleared this number in seven straight games, as their bats have finally woken up after a chilly start to the season. I expect Sale to pitch well, but I think Baltimore’s bats will scratch out just enough runs to allow the Red Sox to carry us to the over.
Pick: Over 8
Sale seemed to have found something last time out, and I’m betting he keeps it rolling against a suddenly scuffling O’s offense in pitcher-friendly Camden Yards. At roughly even odds, give me the more trustworthy starter.
Pick: Red Sox