Hot Red Sox Sinking Orioles In A Slugfest

Boston Red Sox' Buchholz pitching

Willie Bee

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 2:33 PM GMT

Prime-time action with American League playoff implications is part of Wednesday's baseball betting card as the Baltimore Orioles host the Boston Red Sox.

 

The Boston Red Sox have suddenly caught fire with six consecutive wins to take a 4-game lead in the AL East. Unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, the last two victories have come at their expense, leaving them in rather a precarious position as the AL's No. 2 wild card team.

Baltimore will get a chance to pick itself up in front of a national TV audience tonight when ESPN airs the third game of the long set beginning at 7 PM (ET). A couple pitchers who have had their share of trouble this season are on the mound in a contest that BetOnline is sending out as a pick 'em with a -105 moneyline on both sides. The bloated ERA's belonging to Clay Buchholz and Ubaldo Jimenez are a big reason behind a 10 run total.

This is the final regular-season series between the clubs, and Boston has taken the first two games by identical 5-2 scores. Rick Porcello's complete game gem as -125 chalk on the MLB odds was the highlight in Monday's win, David Ortiz's 3-run jack last night providing the final margin in a game the Sox closed as +135 underdogs. Both games fell short of the totals, now 3-4-1 at Oriole Park this year with Boston standing 6-2 on this diamond.

 

Both Hurlers Bring Win Streaks Into Matchup
Pretty much given up for dead near the end of May when he'd only won twice in his first 10 starts and had a 6.35 ERA, Buchholz has started to right the ship. Well, sorta', he did get blasted by the Blue Jays in Toronto a couple of starts back, but the Red Sox have won all three of his starts this month and he has lopped more than a run off that May ERA.

Baltimore also got to him at Fenway back in April, popping a couple of long balls and scoring five in five innings for a 9-5 victory. He saw the O's twice as a long reliever, combining for 6.1 IP and allowing three earned runs. Tonight will be his first start at Camden Yards since 2013 when he won both assignments on this mound.

Jimenez has also been better of late, though it would've been difficult to have been much worse. The Orioles have registered dubyas his last four times out, beating Tampa Bay twice plus Detroit and Toronto once each. The lanky Dominican has been no mystery to Boston hitters this season, combining for 10 innings in two starts while surrendering nine runs along the way. Jimenez has done a good job against David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez over the years (8-43 combined), but Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Dustin Pedroia have all raked against the righthander with .350+ batting averages.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
The hulking Jordan Baker should be calling balls and strikes, bringing a 17-8-5 O/U/P mark on the season into the game. His last five plate assignments hopped the totals which ranged from 7½-9, and the Oklahoma native has been a boon to 'over' bettors since late-July with a 9-1-1 O/U/P record. It's the first time Boston hurlers have worked with Baker behind the dish this season, and the fifth time for Baltimore pitchers.

A few clouds and a muggy 80º is the forecast for the first pitch, hardly any breeze expected. Not that either lineup needs help poking home runs, especially with this pitching matchup that makes it easy to imagine a high-scoring affair. And that's just where I'm going with my free baseball pick, a play on the 'over.'

 

Free MLB Pick: Over 10 (-120)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline where you can get a 50% Free Play Bonus!
Season: 43-38 (+7.80)

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