Dodgers vs Red Sox Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, August 25
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Lance Lynn
Dodgers vs. Red Sox Odds
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox square off on Apple TV+ Friday night, as we approach the final month of the 2023 MLB season.
These have been two of the strongest teams in baseball over the past few months, both making up for slow starts and leaving the Dodgers running away with the NL West (and hunting the Braves for the top seed), while the Red Sox have inserted themselves into the chase for the AL wild card with their second half success.
Friday night's pitching matchup sees deadline acquisition Lance Lynn toeing the rubber for L.A., while Kutter Crawford takes the ball for Boston.
These are two pitchers whose numbers might do them a bit of disservice, and I see a bit of value on the under, so let's take a deeper look at why.
When the Dodgers acquired Lance Lynn from the White Sox at the deadline, they were getting a pitcher with a 6.47 ERA, but they knew what they were doing. His FIP was more than a run lower, and by switching leagues and coming to a pitcher-friendly ballpark, there was reason to expect even a bit more.
And he has delivered in spades so far, with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings over four starts with the Dodgers so far.
Now, that's the other end of the luck spectrum, but the point remains that Lynn is a far better pitcher than his ERA suggests — even now. Lynn hasn't given up an earned run in either of his last two starts, and while I wouldn't expect that to continue, one piece of good news for Lynn is that it's not a homer-friendly environment on Friday night (unless you want to start Apple TV+ theories!).
BallparkPal says batters are more likely to have an edge on extra-base hits than homers based on the weather in Boston on Friday, and it has really been the longball that has doomed Lynn all season.
His 1.99 HR/9 rate is dead-last among qualified pitchers, and even since coming to L.A., it has been a bit of an issue. In fact, in a wild stat, Lynn has allowed four earned runs, total, since coming to L.A. — all four were solo home runs.
The Red Sox lineup is strong against righties this season (eighth by wRC+), but in terms of home runs, they rank a little lower, coming in 12th in the league. The good news for the Sox is that they are very strong at avoiding strikeouts against righties, and balls in play should have some extra value on Friday.
Lynn also has the ninth-highest K/9 rate among qualified starters, but at 20.9 K%, only four teams strike out less against righties than the Sox.
The other bit of good news for Boston is that their starter is a very solid pitcher. The 27-year-old owns a 3.66 ERA over nearly 100 innings this season, and while his ERA is indeed higher when starting (4.24) versus relieving (1.66), there's a bit of context to that. In his first start of the season, Crawford gave up seven earned runs in just four innings in his first start of the season, but in the 70 1/3 starter innings since, he owns a 3.59 ERA.
Crawford is another pitcher who has struggled a bit with the longball, as his 1.41 HR/9 is visibly higher than the league average of 1.22 this season, especially when considering that his ERA as a whole is much below league average (4.33).
As such, that non-friendly home run weather tonight should help him even more than most pitchers.
Dodgers vs. Red Sox
Betting Pick & Prediction
Neither bullpen is particularly taxed at the moment, so I'll be looking at both the first five under (5.5), as well as the full game under (10.5), as I see value on both pitchers, as laid out above.
I lean slightly to the Dodgers, but the over/under is the best bet for this game.