The Boston Red Sox are riding a two-game winning streak heading into their weekend series against the visiting Cleveland Indians. This may not sound very impressive, but the Red Sox have been destroyed by COVID-19. The fact that they can still put a team on the field is almost miraculous.
The first pitch on Friday night from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Cal Quantrill will throw for the Indians against Nathan Eovaldi of the Red Sox.
Red Sox Split with Rays
The Red Sox are coming off of a series split against the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The first two games were taken by Tampa Bay. At this point in the series, it appeared that the Rays could pull off a sweep.
Boston had a combined 10 players and coaches on the COVID-19 injured list, including Kike Hernandez, Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes. Nevertheless, the together Red Sox found a way to come back and win two straight contests.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Garrett Richards combined for a five-hitter as Boston shut out the Rays on Thursday. Chris Sale, who started Wednesday’s contest, was the inspirational leader that found a way to fire the team up before the finale.
Boston manager Alex Cora spoke about Sale’s speech to the team in the postgame presser. “He’s been saying all along, nothing is going to stop us. He’s been very loud in the clubhouse, just letting them know it doesn’t matter what’s going on, we’ve got to keep pushing, we’re going to be OK. There was a lot of energy today. The guys were into it from the get-go, and to be able to do that is a testament to them.”
Additionally, the Red Sox have not reported any new COVID-19 cases. This is great news for the team as they prepare to play the Indians on Friday night.
The past two days have massively helped the Red Sox for the playoffs. The team was teetering on the brink of collapsing in the Wild Card. They have a brutal schedule remaining after they finish with the Indians.
Boston has a two-game lead on the Oakland Athletics, who have slightly cooled off after a brief winning streak. They are 4-6 in their past 10 games.
The Yankees have a 1½-game lead on the Red Sox for the first Wild Card. This is critical because the first-place team has the opportunity to host the one-game Wild Card playoff. After this weekend, the Rays will come to town, which is a huge opportunity for Boston to continue chipping away at the first Wild Card spot.
The Red Sox winning could be a great addition to your MLB picks and parlays.
After two straight victories, it’s hard to argue with the Red Sox in this contest. The team has been dominant in the past two games. This is not a large sample size, but any momentum is positive for the Red Sox at this point.
The MLB lines in this game favor Boston because they are a much better team than the Indians. The last time these teams met, the Red Sox took two of three games. If you want to bet online, I will go with the Red Sox on the run line. This has the most value on BetUS Sportsbook.
Pick: Boston Red Sox -1½ runs (+105)
This is a major series for the Red Sox because they have a brutal slate remaining in September. The Indians are not a bad club, but they are just three games above .500.
The remainder of the series will be entertaining. Boston’s Tanner Houck will pitch against Eli Morgan in game two. The final game, which will be shown nationally on TBS, will showcase Nick Pivetta of Boston against Zach Plesac of the Indians.
The pitchers in these series are very young with electric ability when they find their rhythm. The two players to watch in this series are sluggers Rafael Devers for the Red Sox and Jose Ramirez of the Indians.
Both players have hit over 30 bombs and have led their team late in games. The better hitter of the two will give their team an advantage throughout the weekend.