The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles meet in game two of their three-game midweek series. These teams struggled to find offense against each starting pitcher on Tuesday night in the opener of the series. How will hitters adjust in Wednesday’s MLB betting matchup?
The Boston Red Sox Can Win Because...
They are very familiar with Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen. Even though Chen has been pretty decent this season, there are two things to be said for him. First, Boston will be seeing him for a third time in 2015. That's something which matters. Hitters get to know a pitcher and learn more about how he's throwing and what his inclinations are when they get to see him multiple times. That's one thing to be said for the Red Sox here. The other thing is that Chen's worst start of the season was against Boston -- he did not get out of the fifth inning, and he gave up five runs. Yes, he bounced back and gave up two runs in eight innings the next time out against Boston, but the Red Sox will be able to study that game on film and make a counter-adjustment. This familiarity with Chen could really benefit the Red Sox here.
The Baltimore Orioles Can Win Because...
They are facing a struggling starting pitcher, a man who might come up with a good start here or there, but someone who just isn't consistently good in 2015.
Rick Porcello came from the Detroit Tigers as a pitcher who was supposed to be a strong number two starter, a guy who would replace John Lackey, who is now with the St. Louis Cardinals. For long stretches of the 2014 season, Porcello was the best starting pitcher on the Tigers' staff. He probably ended the year as the third-best pitcher on the staff after David Price and Max Scherzer, but that's still better than Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez, two highly accomplished pitchers. Porcello was seen as a real prize when the Red Sox got him. However, he just hasn't been the same pitcher this season.
Porcello has been rocked all too often this season. He has given up at least four runs five separate times this season, and six or more runs on three different occasions. He also labored through a five-inning, three-run, nine-hit performance in another outing. He has sparkled a few times. He gave up two runs in eight innings in his most recent start, and he pitched seven shutout innings in a game on May 5, but those performances are just too few and far between. If you were a bettor, would you be sold on one outing of particular quality this past week? Probably not. A 5.01 ERA is just way too high to trust right now.
The Orioles also have a starter in Wei-Yin Chen who has a solid 3.18 ERA and has not had the fluctuations between good and awful that Porcello has. Chen has been a much steadier pitcher -- he's allowed more than three runs once this season, and more than four runs only once as well. He has not been getting whacked for big innings, and that's a basic point of separation between him and Porcello this season.
Chen seems like the steadier of the two pitchers and it doesn’t help matters that Porcello has been pounded by Baltimore this season. In two starts, he’s allowed 18 hits and 12 earned runs in just 11 innings of work (two starts). They are batting .383 against him.
MLB Pick: Baltimore at Bodog