Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Preview and Pick – Olson vs. Colon

Baltimore Orioles (32-31) +150, 10 at Boston Red Sox (40-27), 7:05 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of

After winning the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park Tuesday night, the Baltimore Orioles will look to creep a little closer to the lead in the AL East when they take on the division-leading Boston Red Sox Wednesday night.

Hardball bookies are listing Boston and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (3-1, 3.91, 1.39 WHIP) as -170 home favorites for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 10, while Baltimore and Garrett Olson (5-1, 3.86, 1.42 WHIP) are getting +150 as road underdogs.

Baltimore took Tuesday’s series opener 10-6 for its fourth win its last five games. And the Orioles are 5-2 on current nine-game road trip, after taking two of three in both Minnesota and Toronto.

Boston, which has won three straight series, leads the AL East by one game over the second-place Tampa Bay Rays and six games over the third-place Orioles.

The O’s are 15-20 on the road this year, 24-29 as underdogs, and 36-27 vs. the run line.

Boston is 26-7 at Fenway Park this season, which is tied with the Cubs for the best home record in the league, 35-19 when favored, and 31-36 vs. the run line.

Baltimore has taken four of seven games from Boston so far this year, with the totals going 3-1-3, as the games have averaged 10.3 total runs. Last year, the Sox took the season series from the O’s 12 games to six, while the totals went 7-11, as the games averaged 9.8 total runs per.


Over his last three starts, including a good outing in a win at Minnesota last Thursday, lefty Olson has given up four ER and 21 baserunners (hits + walks) in 18 1/3 IP. Baltimore is 5-3 in Olson’s starts this season, the totals 2-5.

But Olson has had problems with Boston; over his three starts vs. the Sox last year and one this season, he’s allowed 15 ER and 38 BR in just 20 1/3 IP. The Orioles lost all four of those games, while the totals went 1-2-1.

Over his last three starts, including a shaky performance in a loss to Seattle last Friday, Colon has allowed eight ER and 24 BR over 18 IP. Boston is 31 in Colon’s starts this year, the totals 1-3.

Colon started one game vs. Baltimore last year as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, and once this year for the Sox, allowing seven ER and 19 BR over 12 IP. His teams split those two games, while the totals also went 1-1.

Baltimore ranks 21st in the majors in team batting at .255, 22nd in team OBP at .322, 24h in team slugging at .409, and is averaging 4.3 runs per game. But B-Town’s last four games have gone over their totals, as the O’s have scored 29 runs over that span.

Boston ranks 3rd in the majors in batting at .282, 2nd in OBP at .357, 4th in slugging at .445, and is averaging 5.1 runs per game.

The Baltimore bullpen has allowed six ER and 26 BR over its last five games, covering 16 1/3 innings of work.

The Boston pen has given up seven ER and 21 BR over its last five games, covering 14 2/3 IP.

On the injury front, Boston slugger David Ortiz is still on the DL with a sore wrist tendon.

The totals are 25-35 in Orioles games this season, 30-33 in Red Sox games, and 16-17 at Fenway Park, where games are averaging 9.8 total runs this year.

Zman’s Pick: It doesn’t seem real bright to bet against Boston at home but if you were ever gonna take a poke at it, a game Bartolo Colon is pitching would be the prime time to do it. We like this Olson kid and the whole Orioles team for that matter. We’re gonna call this one a value play and go with Baltimore here. Good luck!