Saturday night features an intraleague battle of Eastern teams as the Boston Red Sox (20-14) take on the Philadelphia Phillies (15-18). The Phillies will host this one at Citizens Bank Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 pm ET.
This is the second of a three-game series. Boston was able to take the first game of the series Friday night 5-3.
The Phillies are the favorite in this one playing at home. They are -144 to win, while Boston’s moneyline sits at +122. The runline features the Red Sox +1.5 (-170), and the over/under for total runs is 9.5.
Red Sox Look To Stay Competitive In The AL East
To say that the AL East has been the toughest division in baseball would be a bit of the understatement. All five teams are over .500, and at 20-14, the Red Sox still sit 7.5 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays. Trying to stay competitive in the division, the Red Sox would love to secure a series win Saturday.
Taking the ball for Boston is veteran righty Corey Kluber. The 37-year-old is 1-4 in six starts with a 6.44 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and he has 27 strikeouts in 29.1 innings of work. In his last start, he allowed three earned runs over 5.1 innings in a no-decision against the Blue Jays.
Offensively, Rafael Devers has been the hottest hitter for the Red Sox. In 132 at bats, he is hitting .242/.297/.553 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 32 runs batted in.
As a team, they rank third in the majors in scoring, averaging 5.91 runs per game (5.46 on the road).
Phillies Look To Even Series Up
After making the World Series last season, the Phillies have gotten off to a slow start this year. They are just 15-18, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Having gone 4-6 in their last 10 games, they will look to get back into the win column and even the series up Saturday.
Bailey Falter will toe the rubber in this one for the Phillies. In six games, he is 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and he has 22 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. He took the loss in his last outing against the Astros, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work.
The Phillies’ offense has been a bit inconsistent thus far this season. They rank 18th overall in scoring, averaging 4.28 runs per game.
They were excited to welcome back Bryce Harper to the lineup. In Friday’s loss, he went one for four with a run scored.
Despite hitting just .183/.305/.392, Kyle Schwarber leads the team in home runs with seven on the year.
Take Boston To Win The First Two
Both of the starters Saturday have had struggles thus far this season. With neither team having the clear advantage on the mound, this one could come down to momentum.
On paper, the Phillies should be dominant, especially with Bryce Harper back in the lineup. They have scuffled a bit as of late, though, while the Red Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 contests.
With the momentum in their corner and a veteran on the mound, there is a lot of value in taking the Red Sox to win (+122) on Saturday.