Fantasy Preview: Red Sox vs Orioles 18th Sep 2017
The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles will approach this week’s series starting 18th September at Camden Yards with two different mindsets about the American League playoffs. With one week left to go in the regular season, Boston currently sits atop the American League East. But, they’re nursing a three-game lead over the unrelenting New York Yankees.
Meanwhile, Baltimore is one of handful of teams squarely in the dogfight for that second wildcard spot, and they can’t afford any slip-ups if they want to be the last one standing with that spot.
Nonetheless, the fact that both teams have playoff aspirations at one level or another could make this series a highly entertaining one especially for those who happen to have players on either squad on their fantasy baseball team.
Key Fantasy Points of Note
To hopefully set the tone for the series, and start it off on the right foot, the Orioles will send pitcher Dylan Bundy to the mound first. Bundy went on an absolute tear since mid-July, notching six quality starts with a 5-1 record in his seven starts after the All-Star break. His 4.03 ERA this season puts him among the top 15 pitchers in the American League, and his WHIP of 1.18 is good for 8th in the AL.
Meanwhile, Boston will be sending veteran Doug Fister to the mound, to match up against Bundy. Fister rebounded from a miserable first half of the season, putting up a 1.50 ERA and 0.73 WHIP since the middle of August until last week’s game against Oakland, where he was shelled for six earned runs in six innings.
The second game of the Red Sox-Orioles series could feature the best pitching duel, between right-hander Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox and fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman for the Orioles. In his last start, Pomeranz held Oakland to one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts over six innings, to grab his career-high 16th win. Meanwhile, Gausman has put up three quality starts in his last four games, and he’ll take a 4.83 ERA and 1.56 WHIP into his start against the dangerous Red Sox lineup.
The last game of the series was supposed to feature Boston’s best pitcher in Chris Sale, versus embattled Baltimore pitcher Wade Miley. After spending much of the season as one of the favorites for the American League Cy Young award, Sale has been maddeningly frustrating for fantasy owners, allowing one or fewer runs in eight of his 13 starts, but also four or more runs in four of the remaining five.
His last start, when he allowed four runs on six hits and three walks, but also struck out nine batters while taking a no-decision, has been a microcosm of his up-and-down play. It hasn’t been much better for Miley, either. In his last start against the New York Yankees, Miley allowed six runs on six hits and recorded just a single out, erasing all the positive vibes he had after allowing only 16 earned runs in his previous eight games.