The Philadelphia Phillies have taken the first two games of their interleague series with the Boston Red Sox, and will be shooting for the sweep when the teams meet for that series finale Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park (1:05 pm Eastern).
Philadelphia took the first game of this series Tuesday 5-0 behind a two-hit shutout from Cliff Lee, then beat the Sox Wednesday 2-1, getting a quality start from Vance Worley. So far in this series Boston has a total of seven hits.
So the Sox, who have lost six of their last seven games, scoring a total of 15 runs in the process, sit in second place in the AL East, 2.5 games behind the division-leading New York Yankees.
Philly, meanwhile, which has won three in a row, leads the NL East by 4.5 games over the second-place Atlanta Braves.
In a battle of lefthanders Jon Lester (9-4, 3.66) starts for Boston Thursday against Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.49) for the Phillies.
Lester has reeled off three quality starts in a row, allowing six earned runs on 17 hits in 20 innings pitched. On the season Boston is 9-7 in Lester’s starts, while the over/unders have gone 8-5. The Sox have lost Lester’s last two starts mainly because they’ve scored a total of three runs in those two games.
Lester last started against the Phillies two years ago, when he held them to one ER on two hits in seven innings, striking out 11 in a 5-2 Boston victory.
Hamels is on a roll, with six straight quality starts, giving up eight ER on 32 hits in his last 44 1/3 IP, walking six and striking out 40. Philly is 11-5 in Hamels starts this year, while the totals have gone 4-9. The Phillies have lost his last two starts mainly because they’ve scored a total of one run in those two games.
Hamels started twice vs. Boston last year, and held them to two ER on eight hits in 14 IP. Philly won both those games.
Boston is 23-18 on the road this season, while the Phillies are 32-13 at home.
The over/unders are 37-35 in Red Sox games this season, 34-40 in Phillies games, and 18-22 in games played at Citizens Bank Park, which have averaged 7.3 RPG. Last year Philly home games averaged 8.7 RPG.
These teams met twice last year, and Boston took two of three games in both those series.
As for Thursday’s game both starting pitchers have been sharp lately, and both teams have had a little trouble scoring recently. So we’re leaning toward the under on this game.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.