Boston Red Sox (1-1) at Philadelphia Phillies (1-1)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 9, 2015, 7:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Philadelphia Phillies +135 / Boston Red Sox -145 --- Over/Under: 8
NESN (Red Sox) / TCN (Phillies)
The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies will wrap up their interleague series this Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Boston Red Sox couldn’t carry over any of the power they demonstrated in the first game of the series and couldn’t capitalize on some late chances, and dropped to 1-1 on the season after a 4-2 defeat this past Wednesday. After hitting getting 8 runs on 9 hits, including 5 home runs in the season opener on Monday, Boston was only able to get 2 runs on 3 hits as journeyman Aaron Harang was able to shut down a powerful Boston line-up. Leading the way for the Red Sox was Pablo Sandoval who went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk in the loss. On the mound for the Red Sox, was newcomer Rick Porcello who the Red Sox acquired from Detroit in the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Porcello pitched well for the Red Sox (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4K) but made one big mistake leaving a fastball a bit too far inside in which Jeff Francoeur deposited into the seats for a 3-run home run. Robbie Ross and Alexi Ogando pitched well out of the bullpen for the Red Sox as they went a combined 2 innings while giving up no hits while striking out 3.
The Philadelphia Phillies got a great pitching performance by Aaron Harang who silenced the Red Sox bats as he went 6.1 innings while giving just 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8. Harang had great control of his arsenal on a cold night at the ball park as although he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, he owned the outside of the plate. Leading the way for the Phillies was Carlos Ruiz (2-3, 1 BB) and Jeff Francoeur (2-4, 1 R, 3 RBI’s, 1 HR). The Philadelphia Bullpen certainly made things interesting as Ken Giles had all sort of control problems and allowed the Red Sox to score both runs while going just 2/3 of an inning while giving up 2 hits and 3 walks. Jonathan Papelbon had to come in for a four-out save and get out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th, in which he was able to retire Hanley Ramirez on a long fly ball to left that looked at first like it had a chance to go out.
The Red Sox are 45-15 in their last 60 interleague games as a favorite of -110 to -150 and 58-24 in their last 82 games vs. the NL East. The Phillies are 6-2 in their last 8 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150 and 8-3 in their last 11 Thursday games.
On the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday will be Justin Masterson who struggled last year with both Cleveland and St. Louis. Masterson in the second half of the season was able just to go 3-3 with 7.04 ERA for the Cardinals. Philadelphia will send David Buchanan who went 6-8 with a 3.75 ETS and 2.4 K/9. The Red Sox are counting on Masterson was able to find his sinkerball and velocity on his fastball as these were clearly missing form Masterson’s 2014 campaign. Buchanan is also a ground-ball pitcher who has a good velocity difference between his fastball and change-up. It will be another cold night in Philadelphia, but I don’t see the Red Sox bats struggling as they did on Wednesday. I think Masterson will do enough and that the Red Sox bats will lead Boston to a win. Take Boston.