The Boston Red Sox face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday in the second contest of a three-game interleague series at Chase Field.
The Red Sox beat the D-backs 7-2 last night as they try to keep pace in the highly-competitive AL East while the surging Diamondbacks try to close the gap on the NL-West leading Dodgers.
Red Sox vs Diamondbacks odds
Red Sox vs Diamondbacks predictions
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been surprisingly potent at the plate this year and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been a big reason why. The Diamondbacks traded for Gurriel in the offseason and he's paid immediate dividends, leading the club in batting average (.316) and slugging percentage (.561).
Gurriel put together a strong season with the Blue Jays in 2021 before hamstring and wrist injuries slowed him down last year. He's now healthy and mashing for his new team, ranking 17th in the majors with 96 total bases.
The 29-year-old has been red hot lately, slashing .375/.451/.792 in May and he's also been hitting extremely well at home where he has a .658 slugging percentage.
The Boston Red Sox have struggled on the mound this year and today's starter Garrett Whitlock is returning after a lengthy stint on the IL. Even before his injury, Whitlock hasn't been pitching well ranking in the Bottom 15th percentile in barrel rate and expected slugging percentage.
The Red Sox will likely have to use their bullpen a lot in this game and I'm expecting Gurriel to get to one of those arms at some point.
My best bet: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Over 1.5 total bases (+118)
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Red Sox vs Diamondbacks moneyline analysis
Boston's victory last night improved their record to 27-24. Despite taking the loss, the Diamondbacks are 29-22 and just 1.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West standings.
The reason these teams are above .500 is due to production at the plate. The Red Sox are fifth in the majors in batting average (.264) while ranking sixth in OPS (.770). The D-backs are just behind them in both categories (.263 BA with an OPS of .761) but have an ever-so-slight advantage against right-handers.
Both teams are giving the pill to pitchers who are returning to the rotation after missing more than a month with injuries. We already mentioned Whitlock who had a 6.19 ERA in three starts before hitting the IL with ulnar neuritis in his throwing arm.
Arizona's starter is veteran Zach Davies who pitched to a 4.09 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP in 27 starts last year. Davies made just two starts this season (both against the Dodgers) before hitting the IL with an oblique injury on April 10.
In his first start on the road against the Dodgers, he allowed just one run through five innings but in his following outing at home, he surrendered five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
With both Whitlock and Davies coming off rehab stints in the minors, they'll likely be on a pitch count making the bullpens even more critical in this matchup. The Red Sox have the edge there with their relievers pitching to a 3.88 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, while Arizona's bullpen has a 4.37 ERA with a 1.35 WHIP.
Red Sox vs Diamondbacks Over/Under analysis
The Red Sox scored seven runs on 14 hits last night in an offensive explosion they sorely needed after mustering a total of just four runs in their previous four games.
For the most part, Boston's lineup has been very dangerous and is fourth in the majors with 5.27 runs per game. Meanwhile, Arizona is tied for sixth with 5.08 runs per game.
That said, the analytics haven't been kind to either squad which means regression could be on the horizon. Boston is 16th in hard-hit rate and 18th in barrel rate while the Diamondbacks are 19th in hard-hit rate and 26th in barrel rate.
Red Sox vs Diamondbacks game info
|Location:||Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Saturday, May 27, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:15 p.m. ET|
Garrett Whitlock (1-2, 6.19 ERA): The 26-year-old is making a full-time move to the rotation this year after spending 2021 in the bullpen and 2022 in a hybrid role. He's 13-8 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 167 2/3 innings in his career. Whitlock has made three starts this season with ugly performances against the Rays (eight hits and three dingers in five innings) and Brewers (five runs allowed in four innings) sandwiching a gem vs. the Angels. He's coming off a rehab stint at Triple-A Worchester, where he scattered five hits and allowed one run in four innings
Zach Davies (0-0, 5.79 ERA): Davies is coming off a rehab start at Double-A Amarillo where he fanned seven batters and allowed three hits across 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Davies put together some solid seasons earlier in his career but had an ugly 5.45 FIP with the Cubs in 2021 before pitching to a 4.83 WHIP in his first season with Arizona last year.
Trend to know
The Diamondbacks are 15-7 in their last 22 games following a loss. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks