The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are fighting for the top spot in their respective divisions and are trading shutouts with each other this weekend. The Red Sox will try to end their 11-game road trip with a winning record when they visit the Dodgers for the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday.
Boston is trying to keep pace with co-leaders Baltimore and Toronto in the American League East and is struggling to find consistency with its league-best offense of late. The Red Sox have managed three or fewer runs eight times in their last 13 games, including a 3-0 loss on Saturday in which David Ortiz went 0-for-3 to drop to 6-for-44 over his last 11 games. Los Angeles was shut out 9-0 in the series opener on Friday but bounced back with its own blanking on Saturday to keep close to first-place San Francisco in the National League West. All-Star closer Kenley Jansen continued a strong trend by striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning on Saturday and is doing his part to keep the Dodgers in the race by allowing one hit while fanning 10 in 5 1/3 frames over his last five appearances.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
LINE HISTORY: The Red Sox opened as -115 favorites on the moneyline and the total opened at 7.0. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: As usual for Los Angeles, the weather will be perfect for baseball tonight. Clear skies, temperatures in the upper-80’s, low humidity, a light 5 mph breeze blowing out to right field, and a zero percent chance of rain. Shadows will be a factor around the home plate area early in the game.
WHAT SHARPS SAY:
“While it may provide some extra line value, with the NL venue, the expected absence of Ortiz isn’t a big deal. Price is better than McCarthy and the lefty/righty matchup favors the Sox. The Dodgers are a sub-500 team vs. southpaws; they average only 3.7 rpg and hit .239 against them. Boston averages 5.6 rpg vs. right-handers, hitting .292. With an opening line in the pick’em range, Boston is worth a look.” – Covers Expert Ben Burns.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (9-7, 4.30 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 2.76)
Price cruised through seven scoreless innings in Seattle on Tuesday and was in line for the win before surrendering a leadoff homer in the eighth and yielding three more runs in the frame without recording an out. The former Cy Young Award winner put up eight scoreless innings at the Los Angeles Angels to begin the road trip on July 28 but did not factor in the decision in a game Boston went on to lose 2-1. Price is making his second career start against the Dodgers and is 12-11 with a 3.39 ERA in 28 career interleague turns.
McCarthy is getting the nod in place of left-hander Rich Hill, who was set to make his team debut after being acquired from Oakland at the trade deadline but still is dealing with a blister on his pitching hand. McCarthy suffered the loss in each of his last two starts and failed to record an out in the fifth inning of either outing. The 33-year-old was charged with three runs – two earned – on three hits and five walks in three frames at Colorado on Tuesday.
* Red Sox are 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Red Sox are 0-4 in Price’s last 4 starts.
* Dodgers are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Dodgers are 5-1 in McCarthy’s last 6 home starts.
* Under is 12-2 in Red Sox last 14 road games.
* Under is 14-3 in Dodgers last 17 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Early wagering on this matchup saw 68 percent of the selections on the Red Sox and 52 percent of Covers users picking the Over. Check out the up-to-date consensus data here.
HOT FAN BATTLE: