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Red Sox vs. Nationals series: Predictions, odds, picks with MLB playoff implications

We go over the betting odds and playoff implications for Saturday’s Red Sox-Nationals game.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck (89) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the final two games of the regular season, the Boston Red Sox are playing an important series against the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox aren’t able to win the AL East this year, but they enter today’s game only 1 game back of the New York Yankees for the first AL wild card spot and they currently hold the second. The Toronto Blue Jays are one game back from the Red Sox for that coveted second wild card spot.

AL wild card standings

Yankees 89-67 — +1
Red Sox 88-68 —
Blue Jays 87-69 — 1.0 GB
Mariners 86-70 — 2.0 GB
A’s 85-71 — 3.0 GB

Red Sox vs. Nationals odds, per DraftKings Sportsbook

Run line: BOS -1.5
Over/under: 9.5
Moneyline: BOS -150, WAS +130

The Red Sox took the first game of this series 4-2 Friday night and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Nationals are wrapping up a season to forget and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. In this one, I like the Red Sox Moneyline, to Cover and for the Over to hit. The over is especially enticing, even though it is high, because both teams are starting pitchers that aren’t strangers to giving up runs.

Starting pitchers: Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck vs. Nationals RHP Josiah Gray

Houck (1-5) has mainly been a short-outing pitcher but still has a 3.80 ERA. He has pitched fewer than five innings in his last five starts and gave up nine runs in those games. Houck hasn’t gotten a decision in a game since taking a loss against the Yankees on September 25th, even though he only pitched 1.2 innings and gave up two earned.

Gray (2-2) came over in the summer blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a 5.85 ERA. He is coming off of back-to-back pitching wins, even though he didn’t pitch that well in the games. Gray has given up at least one run in every start and has given up at least five earned runs in four of his last six starts.

Prediction: Boston -1.5 run line (-105), over 9.5 runs (-105), Red Sox moneyline (-150)

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