Back Orioles Over Flu-Ridden & Short-Handed Red Sox

dylan bundy orioles

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 10, 2017 10:25 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 10, 2017 10:25 PM GMT

Boston and Baltimore both were playoff teams last season, and the AL East rivals face off for the first time in 2017 on Tuesday at Fenway Park to open a quick two-game set. Read on as to why I recommend the underdog Orioles.

MLB Season Record: 3-1

Baltimore Orioles At Boston Red Sox

The Orioles (4-1) were off Monday. They were MLB’s last unbeaten team at 4-0 before losing 7-3 at home to the Yankees on Sunday. Baltimore’s two best relievers, All-Star closer Zach Britton and Brad Brach, were both unavailable for that one after pitching the previous two games. They were missed as the bullpen was shelled, especially Darren O’Day, who allowed four runs and walked three in just two-thirds of an inning.

The Orioles led the majors with 253 home runs last year and have hit five so far. New Orioles outfielder Seth Smith is off to a good start in batting .385 with a homer. Chris Davis, who was a co-betting favorite at BetOnline to lead the majors in homers this year, is hitting .333 with a homer and two RBIs. Mark Trumbo, last year’s HR king, Manny Machado and Adam Jones also have gone deep. Shortstop JJ Hardy isn’t hitting yet, going just 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts.

The Red Sox (3-3) finished a four-game series in Detroit on Monday and lost 2-1 as the Tigers took three of four. Nicholas Castellanos chased Chris Sale with a two-out, go-ahead single in the eighth inning. Sale has a 1.23 ERA in his first two starts with Boston but is 0-1. The Red Sox managed only four hits off Tigers ace Justin Verlander and two relievers.

The Sox are quite a bit short-handed at the moment. The flu bug is going around the clubhouse. DH/1B Hanley Ramirez hasn’t played since last Wednesday because of it. It’s affecting a few other guys too. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was to return from the bereavement list Monday but his flight from Aruba was canceled. He should be in there Tuesday. Outfielder Jackie Bradley was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday with a sprained ligament in his right knee. Bradley blew up last year with 26 homers and 87 RBIs and is hitting .286 with two RBIs in 2017. Andrew Benintendi moves from left field to become the regular center fielder and left field will likely be a rotation of guys.

 

Probable Pitchers

Looking for a dark-horse Cy Young candidate in the AL this season? I give you Baltimore’s 24-year-old Dylan Bundy, once one of the top pitching prospects in the game. He was 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 109.2 innings last year. Bundy started in the bullpen but kept getting better and was moved to the rotation, where he will stay. Bundy was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 20 innings against Boston. The Red Sox’s Mookie Betts is 4-for-9 career off him with two homers and three RBIs. Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-11 with two RBIs. Bogaerts, if he’s back, is 4-for-12 with a solo homer.

Bundy dominated Toronto in his first start this season in allowing one run and four hits with eight strikeouts and no walks over seven innings in a victory. The Orioles are 5-1 on MLB picks in his past six in Game 1 of a series.

It’s the season debut for Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz. He started the season on the DL with a left forearm injury that he pitched through last season after coming over from San Diego in a trade. Pomeranz was excellent with the Padres and getting to pitch his home games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, going 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA. With the Red Sox, he was 3-5 with a 4.59 ERA. Pomeranz was 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA at Fenway.  The Red Sox are 1-5 in Pomeranz’s past six vs. AL East teams.

The southpaw made one appearance in 2016 vs. Baltimore and allowed five runs and four hits over two innings. Hardy is 1-for-2 off him with a homer and three RBIs. Davis is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

MLB Free Pick: Orioles +114Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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