The Boston Red Sox (31-31) and Cleveland Guardians (28-33) will battle it out in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday. The Guardians will host this one at Progressive Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
After dropping the first game of the series, the Guardians bounced back with a 5-2 win on Wednesday. In the win, Amed Rosario and Josh Naylor combined for six hits, while Josh Bell drove in two. Tanner Bibee picked up the win after allowing two runs in five innings.
The Guardians opened as the favorites in this one playing at home. They are -111 to win, while Boston’s moneyline sits at +100. The runline features Cleveland +1.5 (-196), and the over/under for total runs is nine.
Boston Looks To Get To .500 On The Road
At 31-31, the Boston Red Sox currently sit in last in the AL East, 13 games back of the Rays. If they have any hope of making a push, they will need to improve on the road, where they are just 14-15. On Thursday, they will look to push that road record to .500 by picking up the win.
Taking the mound for Boston in the finale is 32-year-old lefty Matt Dermody. He will be making his season debut in this one. In his career, he has never started a game in the majors and has thrown in 30 games to the tune of a 5.60 ERA.
Offensively, the Red Sox rank fourth in the majors in scoring, averaging 5.10 runs per game (4.36 on the road). Leading the way for the offense is third baseman Rafael Devers. In 232 at bats, he is hitting .246/.299/.478 with a team-leading 13 home runs and 50 runs batted in.
Guardians Taking Advantage Of Weak Division
Even though Cleveland has a worse record in the Red Sox, they are in a far better position in their division. Thanks to a weak AL Central, they sit in second place, just 2.5 games behind the Twins. Hoping to keep pace with Minnesota, they will look to secure a series win over Boston at Progressive Field, where they are just 13-16 this season.
Cleveland will turn to righty Aaron Civale in this one. In three games this season, he is 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and he has 12 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. In his last start, he took a no-decision against the Twins despite giving up no earned runs over five innings.
The Guardians have struggled on the offensive side. They rank 28th in the majors, averaging just 3.60 runs per game (4.28 on the road).
Josh Naylor currently leads in the power department for Cleveland. He is hitting .270/.324/.459 with a team-leading eight home runs and 43 runs batted in.
Take The Guardians To Win The Finale
Looking at the trends, the Red Sox are 1-4 in their last five games; however, they are 8-2 in their last 10 at Progressive Field. In four of their last five games, the UNDER has hit.
For the Guardians, the UNDER has hit in four of their last five games as well as four of their last six against the Red Sox.
This one is a tough one to call. The Red Sox certainly have the advantage on offense, but it is hard to trust a journeyman making just his third start in the majors since 2017.
With so much uncertainty surrounding Dermody, take the Guardians to win this one straight up (-111) at home on Thursday.