A few seasons ago, a pitching matchup between Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale and Washington Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin would have been must-watch television.
Now, a few Sale injuries and a few bad Corbin seasons later, it’s lost a little bit of its luster. Still, that’s the matchup that we’ll get on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C. with the series on the line.
Boston may have been lucky to split the first two matchups of this series, as the team has struggled hitting the ball over the last 15 days (23rd in OPS).
Despite that, Boston is heavily favored in this matchup. Here’s how to wager on this game and the latest odds:
Red Sox vs. Nationals odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Nationals prediction and pick
This is just Sale’s second start since coming back from the injured list, and he threw 4.2 innings of one-hit, two-run ball on Aug. 11.
That lowered his ERA to 4.52 on the season, and he has an impressive Fielding Independent Pitching as well (3.69). Still, I’m not sure if I can blindly back Sale here against a Washington team that actually hits well against lefties in 2023 – ranking eighth in MLB in OPS.
Plus, it’s hard to see Boston stretching Sale out given his injury history, which means the team’s bullpen could be responsible for getting nine or more outs in this matchup.
Boston’s bullpen has been in the middle of the pack in 2023 (3.98 ERA), so it’s certainly susceptible to allowing a run or two.
All that being said, I’m still not sold on Corbin in this game either. Boston is 16th in the bigs in OPS against left-handed pitching, and the Nationals veteran has been far from good in 2023.
Corbin comes into this matchup with a 4.85 ERA and 5.24 FIP, although he’s allowed just four runs across two outings this month.
The bigger issue may be whoever comes in after Corbin, as Washington ranks 28th in Major League Baseball in bullpen ERA at 4.96.
What once would have been a full-blown pitchers duel looks like anything but that, even with these two lefties on the mound.
I’ll take the OVER in Washington this afternoon.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.