Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 12:00 PM EST and odds are subject to change.
Boston -1½ +155 over Baltimore
7:10 PM EST. Baltimore is still in while the Red Sox are officially eliminated. Baltimore remains four games back of a Wild Card spot with nine games remaining so they cannot really afford to lose any (must win). The O’s took the first two games of their weekend series with the Astronauts but then dropped the final two while Boston was getting swept (four games) in New York. Boston has now dropped five in a row but don’t think for a second that they’ve mentally checked out. Knocking a team out of the playoffs is the next best thing to making it. Furthermore, Boston finishes with a worse record than Baltimore so they have double-motivation here with no pressure to win while the O’s are under pressure and hanging on by a thread. Big edge in situation to Boston. Then we have the starters.
Connor Seabold (RHP - BOS) was called up back in late June to start against the Blue Jays. The 6'2", 190-pound right-hander started a game for the Red Sox in September 2021, and started 11 games this year at Triple-A Worcester. That was his second taste of Triple-A after 54 IP in 2021, and all of his numbers improved this year: he struck out more, walked fewer, gave up fewer home runs and allowed fewer hits to wind up with a great 0.987 WHIP and 2.09 ERA. Seabold leads with his plus changeup using a repeatable, easy delivery. His FB is his second-best pitch, a low-90s offering but with a high spin rate that he can locate to both sides of the plate. His slider and curve are less developed, but he knows how to mix speeds and angles to keep batters guessing. However, his surface stats in four games started at this level this year are ugly (0-3 - 10.27 ERA). That has his stock low and provides us with an opportunity to buy.
Seabold has 17 K’s in 16 innings. His swing and miss rate is above average at 12.7%. He has been done in by some bad luck in a small sample size, thus the misleading surface numbers. Dude is highly motivated, he has a decent arsenal with some minor league pedigree and there’s no reason that he can’t have a decent outing. Incidentally, the Orioles have never seen Seabold before.
By contrast, the Red Sox have seen plenty of Jordan Lyles (RHP - BAL). Lyles is set to make his fifth start versus the Red Sox this season. His results against them to this point have been brutal, as in 18 IP he owns a 5.07 xERA, 8.00 ERA, and 2.06 WHIP. He has especially struggled on the road where in 15 starts he is 6-8 with a 5.48 ER and 1.43 WHIP in 87 innings. Jordan Lyles is an equal opportunity hard-contact machine with long-standing HR issues but he’s getting way too much credit here because Baltimore needs to win and Boston’s starter looks weak on paper. A great value bet this is.
Boston -1½ +155 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.10)