Boston Red Sox (-135, 9 o/u) at Baltimore Orioles (+115)
There are still upwards of 45 games left in the regular season for most teams, so it’s hard to put too much stock in any one tilt. But the Boston Red Sox (66-52, 28-25 away) have to be feeling good after last night’s win over the Baltimore Orioles (66-52, 39-18 home). The W moved the Bo-Sox into a tie with Baltimore for second in the AL East and kept them just a game back of the division leading Blue Jays. In a race this tight, every game counts.
The Sox will look to vault the O’s tonight when they meet in the finale of their two-game series at Camden Yards in Baltimore (7:00 PM Eastern).
Boston will send prized offseason acquisition David Price (10-8, 4.29 ERA) to the mound. Price has been underwhelming in his first season with the Red Sox, but he won his last outing against Arizona (9-4), striking out eight batters over eight innings, while allowing ten hits and three earned runs runs. It wasn’t a sterling performance from the former CY Young winner, but it was enough for this devastating Boston offense, which leads the majors in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Boston had been sputtering prior to their series with the D-Backs. They have now won five in a row, however, and are getting decent pitching of late, holding their last six opponents to four runs or fewer.
The Orioles will counter Price with Dylan Bundy (6-3, 2.93 ERA), who has won three straight starts. Chris Tillman was supposed to get the start, but manager Buck Showalter said the ace will be pushed back to at least Saturday due to some shoulder issues.
The O’s will certainly need Tillman down the stretch. They have held the division lead for most of the season, but a mediocre 4-6 stretch over their last ten has seen Toronto take a narrow one-game lead. The Jays and Red Sox both figure to finish the season strong, and there may not be room for all three in the AL playoff picture.
The good news for Baltimore is that the team will play the majority of its remaining games at home, with 24 of 44 coming at Camden Yards. The Orioles have been much better at Camden than on the road this year, currently sitting 21 games over .500 in Maryland.
The best option for bettors tonight looks like the under. Given how well both of these teams mash the ball, the O/U is sitting at a decently high nine runs. Price has the potential to be a shutdown pitcher, even though he hasn’t shown that most of the season, and Bundy is putting up nice numbers for the O’s. The Baltimore bats are also cooling off a bit and the total has stayed under in five straight home games for the Orioles. It’s also stayed under in 14 of Boston’s last 17 road games.
Pick: Under (9 runs).
Photo credit: SecondPrint Productions (flickr) CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
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