The American League East watched its teams go in opposite directions relative to expectations the past few days. The New York Yankees weren’t expected to do much this season but they just took three out of four in Detroit against the Tigers.
The Boston Red Sox Can Win Because…
Their opponent is an absolute mess right now, and their starting pitcher in this game does not have complete command of his pitches, so keep this in mind when looking at the MLB odds . First, the Orioles have lost four in a row. They got tagged by the Toronto Blue Jays in three straight games. Baltimore lost two slugfests, 7-6 and 13-6, while also falling in a 4-2 decision as well. Nothing this team is doing right now is working. The pitching rotation is getting whacked. Baltimore has yet to look like the defending division champion and a team considered one of the favorites to win the American League this season.
The other thing that should give Boston hope is that while Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez has a 2.55 ERA, his worst start of the 2015 season came this past Sunday against Boston. Gonzalez gave up only three runs, but that was in five innings, and he surrendered five hits to go along with four walks. The lack of control by Gonzalez should be alarming for Baltimore, and a chance for Boston to break this game open if it can get more timely hits with runners in scoring position.
The Baltimore Orioles Can Win Because…
They are going against a pitcher who is simply struggling in the month of April, when a lot of starting pitchers scuffle before getting things going as the weather warms up in May and June. Rick Porcello was acquired from the Detroit Tigers, a major part of the Red Sox’ plans for their starting rotation. However, Porcello has stumbled to a 6.63 ERA so far this season. What’s more is that Porcello faced Baltimore this past Sunday and did not fare well. He gave up eight runs on 12 hits in five innings, losing 8-3. Porcello didn’t excel in any single compartment of pitching. He was wild, issuing three walks. He did not avoid the long ball, giving up two home runs. Porcello has not yet had a single dominant start on par with his excellent 2014 season, in which he was often the Detroit Tigers’ best pitcher and truly carried that pitching staff for much of the summer months. Unless or until Porcello shows that he can put together a strong start for Boston – not just a quality start (minimum of six innings, maximum of three runs), but a dominant start – the smarter betting play is to go with the Orioles.
The question is: are we going to see Baltimore begin to play like an American League East contender or will the Orioles continue to struggle on Friday?
The lack of quality from Porcello is too conspicuous to ignore. Boston could easily light up Gonzalez, who struggled last Sunday, but it’s a better bet that Baltimore will thrash Porcello.
Over might be a decent choice for your MLB picks but I’ll go with the O’s in this one.
MLB Pick: Baltimore at Bovada