Free MLB Picks: Baltimore To Hang With Red Sox On Tuesday Night

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

In what should be a fairly even matchup, the sports books have hung out a line that our MLB handicapper disagrees with. Read on as he gives the value pick in this AL East series.

On a nice little 4-0-1 run here for MLB, so let’s keep it going as we look ahead to a very important series between the AL East co-leaders Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox. Both teams sit at identical 36-26 records and find themselves 10 games over .500 with 100 games yet to play. In the first game of the series on Tuesday night, Boston brings ace David Price to the table, and as such are favored by as much as -170 on the moneyline at books such as BookMaker. The total offered in the MLB Odds has opened at 8.5 runs across the board, with slight leans to the Over prevalent.

Although these teams have identical records, their run differential so far indicate that Boston is the better team. On the year, Boston has a +85 run differential, second only to the Chicago Cubs in the MLB. As an aside, the Cubs have a +162 differential and are well on their way to a 100+ win season of possibly historic proportions. Baltimore on the other hand is running a +27 run differential, which is why most projection models have them falling behind Boston in the standings by the end of the year.

This is why you play the games though, and starting on the road for the Orioles on Tuesday night is Chris Tillman. Tillman had himself one hell of an outing against Kansas City the last time out, as he posted 7.1 innings of shutout ball while striking out 9 batters and walking no one. It was a good bounce back from his no decision against the New York Yankees the start before, but Tillman hasn’t lost a decision since April 14th – a span of ten starts. On the season, Tillman is running an 8-1 record, 3.01 ERA, and 1.17 WHIP, all while the .269 BABIP and 3.88 FIP show that these results are not the result of luck. Tillman has also been very steady against both right and left-handed batters, which is fairly unusual. On the season he has allowed a .222 batting average against left-handers and .219 batting average against righties.

While David Price of the Red Sox has had two tough luck losses in a row, he still is in a stretch of some of the best pitching he has had all year. Price hasn’t given up more than 3 earned runs in his last six starts, and has pitched at least into the 7th inning in all of them. He has his ERA down to 4.63, but more importantly has his FIP down to 3.53. FIP is independent of fielding and more predictive of the future than ERA. On the year he also has a 7-3 record, 1.18 WHIP, and .234 batting average allowed.

Both of these pitchers have excellent career records against the opposing team, records that will make it difficult to choose a side – and eat chalk if backing Boston. Chris Tillman has a 9-3 record against Boston with a career ERA of 2.84. David Price is 8-5 starting against Baltimore while carrying a 2.86 ERA. Tillman has also won his last three starts against the Red Sox, although he has yet to face them with this year’s lineup. Price lost his only matchup against the Orioles this year after giving up 5 runs in 5 innings of work as a -185 home favorite.

That chalk on Boston makes this a pretty easy call in my opinion as I am looking at the run line for value here. While the ERA’s of these pitchers suggest an Under call would be valuable, I don’t like taking the Under at Fenway and both offenses have been hitting well of late. I’m taking Baltimore +1.5 runs at -140 at Heritage as my MLB Pick.


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Free MLB Pick:  Orioles +1½ -130 
Best Line Offered:  at Intertops
MLB Record: 24-11-2, +12.69 Units

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