The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox open a three-game set at Fenway Park this Friday night with the first pitch at 7:10 PM ET, so let’s see what’s the best betting pick for this American League East showdown.
The Sawx have won six of their last seven encounters with the O’s and are 6-4 against Baltimore in 2021. Boston is a heavy -250 fave for Friday’s opener, according to Bovada Sportsbook, while Baltimore is a +220 road dog with a total of 11.0 runs.
The Orioles dropped eight of their first nine games in August
The Baltimore Orioles fell to 38-74 on the season following a 5-2 defeat to the Detroit Tigers this past Wednesday. It was their seventh loss on the spin and eighth in nine outings this month, excluding Thursday’s clash at Camden Yards in Baltimore (the O’s had a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third).
The O’s are slashing .262/.305/.466 in August, smacking 14 home runs in nine games. However, their pitching staff has been awful so far this month, recording the highest ERA in the majors (5.88) along with a 1.47 WHIP and a .271 batting average against.
Spenser Watkins will get the nod Friday, and the 28-year-old rookie is 2-3 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in six starts and one relief appearance. Watkins has been terrible as of late, allowing four earned runs in each of his previous three starts (15.2 frames pitched). Last Saturday, the righty was charged for a loss in a 12-3 home defeat to Tampa Bay, yielding five runs on eight hits while striking out four across six frames.
The Red Sox are desperate for wins
The Boston Red Sox have struggled mightily over the last two weeks, recording ten losses in their previous 13 outings overall, excluding their Thursday afternoon’s clash against Tampa Bay. The Sawx dismantled the Rays this past Wednesday, 20-8, to improve to 66-50 on the season, but they were still second in the AL East, four games behind Tampa.
Nick Pivetta will toe the rubber Thursday against Baltimore, and the 28-year-old righty is 5-0 in five career starts against the Orioles. This season, Pivetta beat the O’s twice, yielding six earned runs on ten hits and six walks through 12 innings of work.
Pivetta hasn’t been sharp over his past five starts, posting a pedestrian 5.19 ERA and a .250 batting average against. Still, he fired six scoreless innings last Saturday, allowing just one hit to the Toronto Blue Jays.
- 1-8 in the last nine games overall
- 1-4 in Spenser Watkins’ last five starts
- 6-1 in the last seven games against Baltimore
- 5-0 in Nick Pivetta’s five career starts against Baltimore
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
The Red Sox finally got things going at the plate in that 20-8 victory over the Rays. They’ve scored just 27 runs through their first nine games in August, and I think the Sawx will continue to improve in this favorable matchup with the Orioles.
Of course, the odds are not tempting, so I’m betting on the Red Sox to cover a 1.5-run spread. Five of Boston’s last six wins over the Orioles came by two or more runs.
Pick: Take Boston Red Sox -1.5 at -120
The over is 8-5 in the last 13 meetings between Baltimore and Boston, but only four of those 13 contests produced more than 11 runs in total. Considering a tricky 11-run line, I would stick with the Red Sox to cover.
If you prefer wagering on the totals, the over is a logical choice. Both teams have struggled on the mound lately, as Boston has registered the sixth-highest ERA in the majors since the All-Star break. Also, the Red Sox have a 5.89 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in August.
Pick: Go over 11.0 runs at -115