The Boston Red Sox will be aiming for a third straight shutout victory when they open a three-game weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday as -140 road favorites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston enjoyed a day off Thursday after blanking Baltimore on consecutive nights to clinch a three-game sweep of the Orioles and improve to 5-1 on their current road trip going into Friday night’s Red Sox vs. Reds betting matchup at Great American Ball Park.
Thursday’s break afforded the Red Sox the opportunity to celebrate after they clinched a postseason berth on the strength of the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians late Wednesday night. But with just a three-game lead over the surging second-place New York Yankees, the Red Sox still have work to do to clinch their third American League East title in five years.
This weekend marks the final road series on Boston’s regular-season schedule. The Red Sox have held opponents to three or fewer runs in three of the first six games of their current road swing but have piled up the runs when needed, scoring nine or more on three occasions, including a 10-8 win over Baltimore as +114 underdogs Monday.
Rick Porcello is on the hill for the Red Sox on Friday. Porcello has recovered from some rough outings since early August. The right-hander surrendered four or more earned runs on three occasions between Aug. 1 and Labor Day but has allowed just two total earned runs over his past two appearances, going 1-1 in consecutive starts against the Tampa Bay Rays.
It has been yet another lost season for the Reds, who are pegged as +125 underdogs in Friday’s series opener. Cincinnati is poised to finish last in the National League Central for a third straight year after getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals, capped by Thursday’s 8-5 loss as a +197 underdog.
Despite this week’s struggles, the Reds have played some solid ball at home in recent weeks. Cincinnati recorded consecutive sweeps of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the Cardinals’ arrival in town and are on a 15-11 run in their past 26 at the Great American.
However, the Reds have been dismal this season in interleague dates with AL East opponents, going 3-10 overall.
Rookie hurler Sal Romano gets the call for the Reds on Friday night. Romano is coming off an impressive eight-inning shutout performance in Cincinnati’s 2-1 win over the Pirates as -144 chalk Saturday and has surrendered more than two earned runs just once in his past six starts.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports Images
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