The Boston Red Sox have a couple rough days in a row. After losing 11-1 to one of the best pitchers in the American League on Sunday in Luis Severino of the Yankees, they have to turn around and face one of the best in the National League in the Washington National’s Max Scherzer. Regardless, with the second best winning percentage (.659) in all of baseball, the Red Sox can still make life rough on any pitcher. On Monday, the Red Sox (56-29) will travel to Nationals Park to face the Nationals (42-40). Scherzer (10-4, 2.04 ERA) will face off with Boston’s Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.60 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.
The moneyline for the game is set at the Boston Red Sox +154 and the Washington Nationals -164. The over/under on runs scored is set at 7.
Red Sox Hope Porcello Can Stay Hot
The Red Sox have won the last two games that Rick Porcello has pitched, a 9-6 win over the Angels and a 9-2 win over the Twins. On Monday, they are hoping to make it three in a row. On the season, Porcello is 9-3 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and opponents are batting .236 against him. He has 99 strikeouts versus 24 walks in 105 innings pitched and has given up 10 home runs in that time.
Offensively, the Red Sox are hoping to bounce back after getting held in check Sunday night. In the 11-1 loss, the Red Sox only mustered 4 hits and didn’t score their lone run until the ninth inning. Given that they scored 11 runs themselves the night before, it isn’t that they don’t have a good offense, but they have to hope not to be shut down by a dominant ace two nights in a row.
Nationals Have Work To Do In NL East
Coming into the season, everyone thought that the Nationals were going to win the NL East by a landslide. Halfway through the season, they find themselves in third place in the division and 6 games out of first place. Their struggles have certainly not been because of Max Scherzer, though. Currently, he is 10-4 with a 2.04 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and opponents are hitting a miserable .172 against him. He has a whopping 165 strikeouts in only 114.2 innings pitched and has only walked 27 in that time. He is certainly pitching to the caliber of a potential NL Cy Young Award winner. There are a couple Red Sox that have gotten to Scherzer over the years, though. JD Martinez is hitting .286 against him with 2 home runs and Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce also have home runs off of him.
Offensively, one of the biggest disappointments of the season has been the play of Bryce Harper. Expecting a huge contract this offseason, Harper is hitting just .216/.366/.475 with a .841 OPS. He does have 20 home runs and 49 runs batted in, but he has also struck out 67 times this year. While Harper has been struggling, one player that has impressed has been rookie Juan Soto. In 37 games he is batting .310/.416/.571 with a .988 OPS. He has 8 home runs, 21 runs batted in and has scored 25 times. Still, for the Nationals to turn their season around they are going to need Harper, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and others to pick it up on the offensive side.
Scherzer Pitches Well, But Red Sox Prevail
At 3-7 in their last 10 games, the Nationals have not shown many signs of life lately, or really much of the season. Scherzer has been dominant, but between the strong offense of the Red Sox, and the seemingly nonexistent offense of the Nationals at times, I like the Red Sox in this one. I do think that Scherzer will hold onto his end of the deal, but I think that the Red Sox will get to the bullpen late and will end up squeaking out this win. It doesn’t hurt that you are getting a pretty good line on one of the best teams in baseball. I like the Red Sox +154.