Monday night's game was a 9-3 win for the Boston Red Sox over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of this four-game series.
For Game 2, the 38-35 last place Red Sox will send Kutter Crawford to the mound and the 36-37 first place Twins will hand the ball to Bailey Ober.
Crawford has made 13 appearances for Boston this year, five of those have been starts, and he is 1-3 with a 4.20 ERA. Ober will be making his 11th start for Minnesota and is 4-3 with a 2.65 ERA.
Despite winning their last five games the Red Sox are underdogs on the road tonight.
Red Sox vs. Twins odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Twins prediction and pick
One thing is for sure, Kutter Crawford is not a starting pitcher. The evidence has mounted and it’s clear beyond a reasonable doubt. For his career as a reliever he has a 3.35 ERA and allows a .592 OPS, but as a starter those numbers jump to 6.23 and .848 when he starts.
Last time out he gave up four runs on five hits in four innings against the Rockies at Fenway Park. This time out likely won’t be much different.
Though even with a bad start from Crawford Boston won’t be out of this ballgame. Bailey Ober has a great ERA, but regression is coming his way.
I’ve been banging this drum all year and have lost some money fading Ober, but he simply isn’t this good. His FIP is 3.54 and his expected ERA is 3.89. Both are still good, but not the elite level he is performing at.
He is buoyed by the fact that he doesn't go deep into starts, but an expected slugging of .430 and just an average strikeout rate aren’t the makings of a true ace.
None of that is to say that Ober is a bad pitcher, but man is he due for a bad outing. Boston has scored 40 runs on this five game win streak and in the past week Alex Verdugo has an OPS of 1.296 despite not hitting a single home run. He has five doubles and is getting on base at a .536 clip at the top of the order.
Crawford is so bad as a starter I’m not willing to say Boston wins outright as an underdog, but the Sox have the offense to help this game go over.
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