Boston’s bats were held in check through their first three games with Tampa Bay at home before Thursday’s game against the Rays, and then the Red Sox travel to Baltimore to begin a series with another American League East club, third-place Baltimore. The Red Sox were just a half-game ahead of the Rays before they wrapped their series on Thursday, while the Orioles aren’t far behind Boston and Tampa Bay and are deep in the thick of the wild-card race. With 60 games left in the season, each one is more important. Here’s a look at the baseball betting matchups over the weekend:
Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.28) vs. Chris Tillman (12-3, 3.84) – Friday, 7:05 PM ET
Dempster hasn’t earned a decision in four starts, and he is looking to improve his mark of 0-1 in two starts against Baltimore despite having a 2.13 ERA. Overall, Dempster is 1-1 in four career starts against the Orioles with a 1.73 ERA, and on the road this season, he is 1-2 in six starts with a 4.64 ERA. Tillman has been on fire as of late, and he is 1-0 in two starts against the Red Sox this season with a 1.59 ERA; overall, he is 2-1 in seven starts against Boston with an ERA of 2.48. At home, Tillman is 5-2 in 11 starts despite a 4.36 ERA.
Brandon Workman (0-1, 4.40) vs. Scott Feldman (9-7, 3.75) – Saturday, 7:05 PM ET
Workman will be making the fourth start of his career and is looking for his first win, so he will be going up against the Orioles for the first time. His first two games (one start) on the road have yielded no decisions and a 5.40 ERA. Feldman has won his past two decisions, and he is 1-0 in eight games (two starts) against Boston in his career with a 3.91 ERA. Away from home, the 6’7” hurler is 4-4- in 11 starts with a 3.82 ERA, which isn’t much higher than his home ERA of 3.66.
Jon Lester (9-6, 4.50) vs. Jason Hammel (7-7, 5.20) – Sunday, 1:35 PM ET
Lester has been all over the place lately and the Red Sox need him to be more consistent if Clay Buchholz continues to have arm trouble that has landed him on the disabled list. He has even struggled against the Orioles, whom he has owned throughout his career; in 2013, Lester is 0-1 in his lone start while posting an ERA of 9.00, taking his record against Baltimore to 14-2 in 22 starts with a 2.86 ERA. On the road this season, Lester is 5-6 in 13 starts with a 5.61 ERA, which is brutal compared to his 2.95 ERA at home. Hammel is 0-5 in his last nine decisions, and against Boston, he is 1-2 in 11 games (five starts) with a 4.81 ERA. He has also been terrible at home, going 1-4 in eight starts on the MLB lines with a 6.65 ERA, which is higher than his road ERA of 4.27. Something has to give between these two pitchers on Sunday.