The Boston Red Sox leave Tampa Bay after a grueling and draining series with the hated Rays and take off to Camden Yards in Baltimore to meet the Orioles for a fresh set that is just as crucial. Oddsmakers call for a slugfest in game one where Felix Doubront is slated to go up against young Kevin Gausman. The game is listed as a pick’em with a total at 9.5.
The Boston Red Sox are notorious for struggling against a pitcher they haven’t seen before. Welp, no one on the Sox roster has any experience against young Kevin Gausman. Gausman has struggled in his short career, going 0-3 in four starts. He really has only struggled in two outings where he surrendered seven earned runs in each. He has alternated good and bad starts and if the trend continues Gausman should have a decent night against the Sox. Boston has yet to hit a wall but this road trip may break their competitiveness for a few games at least. After a series against Tampa Bay that included the benches clearing after John Lackey plunked Matt Joyce and a 14-inning affair where each team emptied the bullpen, the Sox won’t be thrilled to travel straight to Baltimore with a potent Orioles lineup waiting for them. With Gausman a relative enigma to this Sox lineup, they could struggle to adjust to the new look in a game they may need to score a bunch of runs in order to win.
For as much criticism as Felix Doubront has caught this season, the young left-hander has pitched very well over his last four outings. Four straight starts of six innings and no more than six hits and three earned runs allowed has the youngster back comfortably in the rotation for a while after being rumored to be relegated to the bullpen or the minor leagues. Doubront features nasty stuff but struggles with command at time, which could be a problem against a Baltimore lineup that seldom lets pitchers get away with mistakes. Doubront actually has tamed the Orioles fairly well over his career, where he has allowed just 14 hits in 67 career at-bats faced against the current Orioles roster. The key for Doubront is limiting damage when he gets into trouble because this offense will hit him. If Doubront lets mistakes compound on one another it will be a rather quick outing but if he has a short memory and makes the best pitch possible with each and every leg kick, he should continue to produce quality starts.
I have doubts about Doubront with a fatigued Sox ‘pen after the Tampa series. Gausman making his debut against the Sox at home with a strong lineup behind him should be enough to get victory for his club. Take the Orioles in the pick’em game.
Free Pick: Baltimore -105