The Boston Red Sox (63-56) will look to make it two wins in a row over the Washington Nationals (53-67) when they send James Paxton (7-3, 3.36 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday night. He’ll face off against MacKenzie Gore (6-9, 4.62 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Red Sox are -170 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Nationals are +142 underdogs. The total is set at 9.
Red Sox-Nationals picks: Wednesday, August 16
Out: RP Tanner Houck (facial fracture), RP Joely Rodríguez (right hip), SP Corey Kluber (right shoulder inflammation)
Out: RP Hunter Harvey (right elbow strain), RP Mason Thompson (left knee contusion), RP Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation), RP Thaddeus Ward (right shoulder inflammation)
James Paxton vs. MacKenzie Gore
Paxton put together a solid start his lat time out, as he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Royals in Boston’s 2-0 shutout win. After missing the past two seasons due to injury, Paxton has a 1.15 WHIP through 80 1/3 innings this season, and ranks in the 82nd percentile in expected ERA and the 75th percentile in expected batting average.
Wednesday marks Gore’s first start since since the Nationals went to a six-man rotation to limit his workload. He allowed six runs in five innings his last time out against the Phillies, and has a 5.64 ERA over his last 59 innings after tallying a 3.57 ERA through April and May. He’s already thrown a career-high in innings (117), which is 30 more than he tossed across all levels last year.
After these two teams combined for nine runs last night, I’m banking on them hitting the over tonight. Gore effectiveness has waned since the season’s gone on, while Paxton is still a bit of a wild card, even if he’s been solid this season.
Pick: Over 9
Boston takes advantage of Gore’s fatigue. The Red Sox have a lineup based around contact and grinding out at-bats, which could lead to a short stay on the mound for Washington’s young starter.
Pick: Red Sox