Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks Odds
The Diamondbacks’ run of brilliance finally came to an end on Wednesday in Philly, but after a day off they’ll have another opportunity to build a winning streak when they host the Red Sox for the first of three in the desert. With a promising youngster on the bump for the home team, might Arizona be a threat on Friday?
Let’s break it all down in our Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks preview and prediction.
Chris Sale has quietly gone about his business in a tidy manner despite some tough results this season. His expected ERA sits at 3.76, and after a rough start to the season his real-life ERA is beginning to trend in the right direction. Sale has pitched to a 2.57 ERA in the month of May, striking out 27 in 21 innings across three starts.
His strikeout rate now sits at 29%, which nearly rivals some of the elite rates we saw out of the flamethrower early in his career. It’s hard to call Sale elite anymore, but with those strikeout numbers and a .215 expected batting average it’s certainly unfair that Sale owns a 5.01 ERA on the season.
He’s striking guys out, he’s not walking many, and despite a below-average ground ball rate has pitched to contact quite brilliantly with only a few hiccups.
With all of that positivity out of the way, Boston’s offense has cooled considerably. The Red Sox are in the bottom five of the league with a 47 wRC+ over the last week, but their strikeout and walk numbers remain pretty steady.
It’s simply been an issue of making meaningful contact for this team, which has just a .104 ISO in that span, and a .224 BABIP would indicate that things will eventually turn.
The Snakes continue to hit the ball. A 96 wRC+ over the last week helped this team to a five-game winning streak which was tragically snapped at the hands of the Phillies on Wednesday, but there’s much to look forward to. Arizona has posted a .187 ISO in the last week with eight home runs and has countered that with a reasonable 23.7% strikeout rate.
On top of that, Jake McCarthy has returned from Triple-A and should further help this offense given his .333 batting average in 22 games down there.
Speaking of youngsters, things seem to be getting better for Brandon Pfaadt after a tough couple of starts to begin his big-league career. The righty owned a 3.91 ERA in 25 1/3 innings at that level and pitched to a 2.63 ERA in 61 2/3 Triple-A innings last season.
He’s now allowed just four earned runs in his last two starts, taking him across 10 1/3 innings, and that’s come along with eight punchouts. Pfaadt was a pretty big strikeout arm in the minors, so it would be natural to see him excel in that area in due time.
One number we should probably mention here for the Diamondbacks as well is their 100 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season, which looks great next to a lower 22.9% strikeout rate. Walks have been a bit of an issue, but Arizona has been as good — if not better — against lefties.
Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks Betting Pick
I like the way the Diamondbacks are hitting the ball right now and I think Pfaadt is quickly growing into the big leagues in his latest couple of starts. While I respect the work that Sale has done this year, I don’t know if this Boston offense is going to have enough to say against a promising young talent.
The Diamondbacks are 14-10 straight-up at home this year and are a respectable 6-6 as home favorites. I think they have the better lineup heading into this one and the pitching is very comparable at the very least.
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