The Baltimore Orioles conclude their series in Boston against the Red Sox on Sunday looking to build on what is currently the best record in the America League and turn to a rookie who has been pitching his best of late.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (-112, 10)
Grayson Rodriguez gets the start on the mound for Baltimore and has much better recently than the season-long 4.91 ERA with 1.5 home runs and 3.4 walks per nine innings allowed would indicate,
Rodriguez was sent back to the minor leagues after posting a 7.35 ERA in May and since being recalled has allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts with the lone hiccup being his first start back at the MLB level against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In his last eight starts, Rodriguez has a 2.40 ERA and 3.18 fielding independent 0.6 home runs and 2.6 walks per nine innings allowed, going at least 5 2/3 innings in every start.
While the Red Sox entered the weekend leading the league with a .281 home batting average, their offense entered the weekend just 13th in the league in runs per game since July 28 with 4.7 runs per game and ranking 17th in on-base percentage.
In that span, the Orioles are second among American League teams in runs per game with over 5.6 runs per game despite averaging just 1.1 home runs per game thanks in large part to having a .329 batting average on balls in play.
Tasked with shutting down that offense is Red Sox starting pitcher Brayan Bello, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 20 of his last 23 starts, posting a 3.35 ERA with fewer than 2.5 walks per nine innings allowed in that span.
Though closer Felix Bautista is on the injured list for the Orioles, the team still entered the weekend third in ERA since July 1 with a 3.16 ERA in the bullpen and with the consistency Bello has shown this season, Sunday sets up for a sneaky pitchers duel at Fenway Park.
The Play: Orioles vs. Red Sox Under 10