Boston Red Sox @ Cincinnati Reds (6:40 ET)
Favorite: Red Sox -115
Pitchers: Brayan Bello (5.10 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) vs. Nick Lodolo (3.81 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
Brayan Bello was thrust into the Red Sox lineup back in July due to necessity. With multiple injuries to starters and relievers, he was called up to the major leagues for his debut. Struggling to find the zone initially but showing he had the tools with a 97mph fastball to go with an 88mph changeup and slider. He ended the month of July with an 8.82 ERA, August with a 4.66, and so far in September has a 1.65. He's been able to place his fastball on both sides of the zone and work his slider on the outside brilliantly. Now after allowing 0 ER in 5 innings against the Yankees he faces the struggling Reds. 27th in wRC+ and 19th in OPS this month, the Reds are starting to try some different prospects in the lineup and will continue to experiment.
The Red Sox, for now, are still largely playing their starters with some different prospects like Triston Casas sprinkled in. Their offense shows that, with an OPS and wRC+ good for 6th this month, walking 11.1% to tack on to that. Lodolo has largely been brilliant in his debut season for the Reds and has struckout 22 batters in his last two games and while those numbers are anamolies, he's been inching towards double digits. I think he has another solid outing, but I trust the Red Sox offense far more than the Reds, and Brayan Bello has been excellent lately. Give me the Red Sox.
Pick: Red Sox F5 ML -121 (1u)
Jim Davis - Globe Staff
Seattle Mariners @ Oakland A's (9:40 ET)
Favorite: Mariners -200
Pitchers: Luis Castillo (2.68 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) vs. JP Sears (3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
If you've been following my write-ups for some time, you'll know how big of a fan I am of Luis Castillo. He was dominant for the Reds last year and has further refined his game this year, locating that 97mph Fastball much more accurately and complimenting it with his slider and changeup brilliantly. I'm happy he's moved to Seattle where he'll be able to play in the postseason and be a large reason for their success moving forward. JP Sears for the A's has been very good, but I'll take the team trying to secure their playoff spot after getting back on track Monday in a 9-1win over the Angels to take the first game in this series. Give me the Mariners to be leading after 5 innings. Nothing special about this analysis, just cash it in.
Pick: Mariners F5 -0.5 -125 (1u)