Boston on Two-Game Win Streak
The Boston Red Sox go for their third straight win when they take on the host Pittsburgh Pirates in the second of a three-game series on Wednesday night. Boston took the series opener on Tuesday and is four games out of the final Wild-Card spot in the American League despite being in last place in the AL East. Pittsburgh has lost five straight and is at the bottom of the NL Central standings, trailing the fourth-place Cincinnati Reds by a half-game. The series opener was a close one, so take a read of our in-depth preview of Wednesday’s contest before you make any bet online.
Red Sox Trying To Make Late Playoff Run
The Boston Red Sox have a talented team, but they’ve been inconsistent this season, and even during a run of four wins in five games, they’re having their troubles. Boston jumped to a 5-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, then had to hang on for a 5-3 win after going hitless over the final seven innings.
“We need to be better than that,” Boston manager Alex Cora said after Tuesday’s win. “The quality of at-bats got worse throughout the game. I’m not saying we got lucky because we put up some good at-bats early on, especially in the first inning, but we can’t stop. That way you get to the bullpen and all that, but at the end of the day, we’ll take it.”
First baseman Eric Hosmer was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in the win. Hosmer is batting just .207 with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored since coming over from the San Diego Padres in a trade-deadline deal.
Another recent acquisition, outfielder Tommy Pham, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the victory. Pham was traded to Boston by the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline and is batting .281 with five doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored in 13 games with the Red Sox.
Left-hander Rich Hill will start and is 4-5 with a 4.75 ERA, striking out 59 in 77⅔ innings. The 42-year-old has struggled in his two starts since returning from a long stint on the injured list with a knee injury, going 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA.
Pirates Hoping for More Consistency
While the Boston Red Sox started fast on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates had the fast finish, scoring three runs in the eighth inning but coming up short in their comeback attempt. Pittsburgh has been having trouble at the plate all season long, scoring the fewest runs in the National League.
Right-hander Roansy Contreras will try to keep Pittsburgh in Wednesday’s contest. The 22-year-old is 3-2 with a 3.78 ERA, striking out 50 in 50 innings. He got a win in his last outing, throwing six innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday and allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Designated hitter Ben Gamel had a bases-clearing double in Tuesday’s loss, going 2-for-4 in the contest.
Outfielder Bryan Reynolds leads the Pirates with a .257 batting average, 17 home runs and 40 RBIs, but he was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in Tuesday’s loss. Reynolds was coming off a five-RBI game in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Red Sox vs Pirates Head-To-Head
These storied franchises are playing their sixth series against each other since interleague play began. The Boston Red Sox have an all-time lead of 14-10 in their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, having won the most recent series in 2017 in a three-game sweep.
The Pirates had won five of the previous six games played in Pittsburgh prior to Tuesday’s loss. A look at the MLB lines for Wednesday’s contest show that the Red Sox are favored to once again pick up a road win against the Pirates.
Red Sox vs Pirates Game Information
- Game: Red Sox (58-59) vs Pirates (45-71)
- Location: PNC Park
- Day/Time: Wednesday, Aug 17, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Red Sox vs Pirates Live Stream: MLB.tv
Red Sox vs Pirates Betting Lines
|Boston Red Sox
R. Hill -L
|-1½ +105||-150||8 -115o||4½ -115o
R. Contreras -R
|+1½ -125||+135||8 -105u||3½ -110o
Red Sox vs Pirates Prediction
The Boston Red Sox have found some life of late, and they need every win they can get to crawl closer to a possible Wild-Card berth. The Pittsburgh Pirates just don’t have enough consistent offensive punch to top the Red Sox in this one.
When making your MLB picks, take Boston to earn the win on the road.