After taking the first two games of their series against the Orioles, the Red Sox are playing with house money on Wednesday and Thursday. Good news, given that Joe Kelly is starting game three.
|BOSTON RED SOX||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Adam Jones, CF|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Hyun Soo Kim, LF|
|Xander Bogaerts, SS||Manny Machado, SS|
|David Ortiz, DH||Chris Davis, 1B|
|Hanley Ramirez, 1B||Mark Trumbo, RF|
|Travis Shaw, 3B||Matt Wieters, C|
|Blake Swihart, LF||Pedro Alvarez, DH|
|Chris Young, CF||Jonathan Schoop, 2B|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||Ryan Flaherty, 3B|
|Starting Pitcher -- Joe Kelly||Starting Pitcher -- Mike Wright|
Alright, even with Kelly on the mound, the Red Sox actually have a decent shot at this one. The Red Sox absolutely have the better Wright between these two teams this season. Mike with his 93 MPH fastball so far has nothing on Steven and his mid-70s knuckler. He's running a 5.04 ERA on the season, and that's actually down from his career mark.
But if they don't take it, oh well. They are guaranteed to leave this series with first place in the AL East, and they're very likely to have at least a three-game lead given that tomorrow features the most favorable pitching matchup of the bunch with Rick Porcello vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.
So they're playing on house money whether you take into account tomorrow's matchup or not. These aren't quite the best games--nothing is better than taking a big win when you expected a loss--but they're the ones that are the easiest to look forward to in many ways. Barring the sorts of terrible things that can happen in any random game regardless of the final score, the Sox just don't have much to lose here.
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.