Baltimore Orioles (14-31) vs. Boston Red Sox (31-15)
When: Sunday, May 20th, 1PM EST
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
by Kevin, Professional Baseball Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Bal +185/Bos -205, Over/Under 10.5
Starting Pitchers: David Hess 1-0, 4.50 ERA vs. Eduardo Rodriguez 3-1, 4.68 ERA
It’s a perfect day for baseball at Fenway Park today as the weather report is calling for a beautiful 71 degrees and winds blowing out to right center at 16mph.
Orioles starter David Hess will be making his first MLB road start and it’ll likely be a rough one as he’s running into a BoSox team whose meat of the order is crushing the ball over the last week with Betts .419 (2hr), Benintendi .385 (2hr), J. Martinez .360 (4hr), and Moreland .300.
The 6’2″, 180 lb Hess pitched well in his first start (at home) vs. Tampa. After diving into his minor league numbers, there’s no cause for concern as he’s a middle of the road arm who posted a 4.04 ERA in 96 minor league games. He isn’t a guy who misses bats as he’s not even close to a K per inning pitcher. This will spell trouble vs. a Red Sox team who has won 3 of their last 4 games and play very well at home (14-7, .287 batting average, 6.3 runs per game).
Baltimore has pretty much looked like crap all season. More importantly, they’ve lost 3 of their last 4, having scored 3 runs or less in during that span. The team has posted a very meager .226 batting average when away from home. They’ve only won 4 road games against 18 losses. They’re not fond of day games either, as evidenced by their .219 batting average in the daylight.
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Fading a rookie pitcher making his first start on the road in a hostile environment like Fenway is a huge variable here, but there’s actually a lot more to like about Boston today. Rodriguez has already faced the O’s this year as a -245 favorite and held them to only 1 earned run over 6 innings.
The team is heating up winning 3 of their last 4 games. They’ve performed really well vs. right-handed starters winning 26 of 36 games against them. They beat the teams they’re supposed to as evidenced by their 17-10 record vs. clubs with losing records. The Sox have also handled Baltimore this season, going 5-1 against them. Rodriguez is missing bats with 22 K’s in his last 16 IP. While I’d never bet on a team based on how they do during a certain day of the week, it doesn’t bother me to see that the Sox are 6-1 on Sunday’s. That shows discipline and that they’re not out partying on Saturday nights. The team has done well in day games with an 11-3 record. They bring it vs. division opponents as they’re 19-9 in those spots. Lots to like here!
The Orioles Machado, Valencia and Rickard are really the only 3 doing anything on offense. Ironically, Rickard and Valencia are in the 6/7 hole in the lineup so this is good news for those betting on Boston. I also like that Balt’s leadoff hitter Mancini is only hitting .167 over the last 7 days. Showalter is a poor manager who never seems to make the right moves. This is also a variable I look at when making bets. You’d be surprised how many poor managerial decisions lead to losses.
Baltimore Orioles Starting Lineup
1. Trey Mancini (R) 1B
2. Adam Jones (R) CF
3. Manny Machado (R) SS
4. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B
5. Mark Trumbo (R) DH
6. Danny Valencia (R) 3B
7. Joey Rickard (R) RF
8. Andrew Susac (R) C
9. Craig Gentry (R) LF
Boston Red Sox Starting Lineup
1. Mookie Betts (R) RF
2. Andrew Benintendi (L) LF
3. Mitch Moreland (L) 1B
4. J.D. Martinez (R) DH
5. Rafael Devers (L) 3B
6. Eduardo Nunez (R) 2B
7. Brock Holt (L) SS
8. Christian Vazquez (R) C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF
Kevin’s Orioles/Red Sox Prediction: I see Hess having a very short outing here. I expect Buck Showalter to go to the bullpen early to protect his young hurler’s confidence which continues our advantage as Baltimore’s pen puts a lot of runners on base as they have a 1.48 WHIP. I don’t claim to have a crystal ball and the odds are truly against calling a home run but I’m very confident that JD Martinez goes yard today. Maybe even twice. I hate to lay chalk but at -205, the Sox are actually underpriced as given today’s variables/conditions I believe the team has an 82% chance of winning here. I’m betting the chalk with Boston at -205. For those looking to maximize their bang for the buck, you will find the lowest betting odds for this game at 5Dimes Sportsbook.