The Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals square off in a rubber match Thursday afternoon. This game will continue our MLB odds series as we hand out a Red Sox-Nationals prediction and pick. We will also let you know how to watch the game.
This has been a tight series, and the Red Sox have been outscored 10-7. Boston is batting just .180 in the two games played. They have 11 total hits, and that includes only two home runs. Pablo Reyes leads the team with three hits, two runs scored, and a home run. Alex Verdugo has the other home run for the Red Sox. Boston has given up 10 runs in the two games, but only three different pitchers have given up runs. The starters have allowed six runs while Garrett Whitlock allowed four runs out of the bullpen. The rest of the relievers have thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Nationals are batting .227 in the two games played. Stone Garrett has three hits, all for extra bases, and two runs scored to lead the team. Garrett has two home runs while Keibert Ruiz, and Michael Chavis each have one. Garrett and Ruiz have combined for nine of the 10 RBI in the series. On the mound, the Nationals have a 0.94 WHIP in the series. They have allowed just 11 hits, and walked only six.
Chris Sale will start for the Red Sox while Patrick Corbin gets the ball for the Nationals.
Here are the Red Sox-Nationals MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Red Sox-Nationals Odds
Boston Red Sox: -1.5 (-118)
Washington Nationals: +1.5 (-102)
Over: 9.5 (-110)
Under: 9.5 (-110)
How To Watch Red Sox vs. Nationals
TV: NESN, MASN
Stream: MLB TV subscription
Time: 4:05 PM ET/1:05 PM PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Red Sox Could Cover The Spread
Sale is making his second start since coming off the IL, and his first one was pretty good. He is coming off a solid start in which he went 4 2/3 innings, allowed two runs, and struck out seven against the Detroit Tigers. However, if you go back to before he got injured, Sale was just continuing his hot streak. Sale has allowed three runs or fewer in his last seven starts this season. He seemed to not have missed a beat while on the IL, and this game should be no different. I expect him to go a little deeper into this game, as well. If he can go six strong, the Red Sox will cover the spread.
Corbin has made 12 starts at home, and 12 starts on the road this season. His numbers have been very similar in both situations, except for opponent batting average. At home this season, Corbin is allowing opponents to bat .323 off him. The opposing power numbers are down, but he has allowed almost 30 more hits in just two more innings at home. The Red Sox are going to get a lot of pitches to hit in this game. They just need to capitalize.
Why The Nationals Could Cover The Spread
Like most pitchers, Sale is worse on the road. He has made six starts at home, and six starts on the road, so it is easy to compare his numbers. His ERA is almost two full runs worse, his walks are up, his strikeouts are down, and he allows opponents to bat .272 off him on the road.
The Nationals actually hit the ball pretty well, so this could end up being a good matchup for them. They are sixth in batting average, ninth in doubles, and eighth in triples. They do hit the ball in the gap, they just struggle to get it over the fence. If Washington can find some gaps, and maybe even hit a couple home runs, they will be able to cover this spread.
Final Red Sox-Nationals Prediction & Pick
This should be another tight game. It is tough to predict because you never know which version of Patrick Corbin or Chris Sale you will get. They might go six shutout, but they could also allow seven runs in four innings. With that said, Chris Sale has been the better pitcher this season, and he has been pitching well all season. The IL stint did not seem to set him back much, if at all. If he can continue to pitch as he has, dating back to before he got hurt, the Red Sox should win this game. I will put my money on Boston to win this game and cover the spread.
Final Red Sox-Nationals Prediction & Pick: Red Sox -1.5 (-118), Under 9.5 (-110)