Red Sox vs. Orioles Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Monday belonged to Baltimore Orioles pitchers in a 4-0 shutout. Not to be outdone, Boston Red Sox hurlers proved their mettle with a 1-0 blanking on Tuesday.
The exchange of zeroes sets up a rubber game on Wednesday, and the pitching matchup suggests it might be time for the two lineups to show what they can do. ESPN begins its broadcast from Camden Yards at 7 PM (ET), Wei-Yin Chen's first toss a few minutes after that. Chen and the Orioles are carrying a -125 price against Rubby De La Rosa and the Red Sox, a 9 run total appearing across the board on SBR's live MLB odds.
Brandon Workman and three Boston relievers snuffed the O's in Game 2, combining to allow just two harmless singles while striking out nine. Boston's lineup didn't make much noise one night after being blanked, but Mike Napoli's RBI single in the third was just enough.
Hurlers Enter Tilt
Suffering From Long Ball-itis
The Tigers didn't find De La Rosa mysterious last Friday in Detroit, a 6-2 Boston loss in the middle series of this road trip. The Dominican served up a pair of long balls among the nine hits he allowed in 5.2 innings, his second start since being called up from the minors to fill in for Clay Buchholz (knee). He has been on this mound once before, making a short relief appearance late last season for the Red Sox in his only career appearance vs. the Orioles.
Home runs have suddenly crept into Chen's efforts the past few weeks, six of the nine homers he's allowed in 2014 coming in his last four outings. The A's slugged a couple off Chen on Friday, both solo shots and the only runs he was charged with in 6.1 innings of a no-decision.
Chen is seeing the Red Sox for the third time this year, splitting the first two decisions with the loss coming in Baltimore during the season-opening series. The Orioles have won six of his nine career starts against Boston despite Chen's 5.25 ERA.
Umpire Notes, Mother
Nature & A Free Pick
Tony Randazzo was among several veteran umpires who started the 2014 season on the DL with head and neck injuries, most of those maladies caused by foul balls off their masks. He just made it back to Brian Gorman's crew and has called three consecutive 'under' matches after pretty much splitting totals last season (16-17-1 O/U/P).
Rain caused about a 90 minute delay Tuesday, and we could be in for something similar in Wednesday's finale. There's a 30% chance of a passing t-storm at game time, and the odds increase as the evening wears on. Temps in the upper-70s are forecast for first pitch with an ESE wind in the 8-12 mph range (1B out to left).
My gut says we will see both lineups break out tonight, at least comparatively to the first two games of this series, but I'm not sure it will be enough to top 9. Let's run with Boston to grab a win in the finale of this series and road trip for our free baseball pick.
My pick: Red Sox +115
Season: 62-58 (+3.35)
Red Sox vs. Orioles Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Except for three pitches Jake Peavy made Monday, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles might still be playing. Those three were big ones, however, as the Orioles swatted all three mistakes out of Camden Yards for more runs than they needed with Bud Norris on the mound.
Boston now turns to Brandon Workman in hopes of evening the 3-game set in Baltimore, and pick up just a second win on this road trip from hell that has the Orioles 1-6 so far. The Orioles counter with Chris Tillman in the 7:05 PM (ET) matchup, and Baltimore is slight chalk on the baseball betting board with a -115 moneyline. Scoreboard wagering requires a decision on a 9 run total that sides a bit with the 'under.'
Tillman Out To
Continue Mastery Of Red Sox
Workman began 2014 pitching out of Boston's bullpen before being sent down to Pawtucket to stretch his arm out as a starter. He was recalled a couple of weeks back when Felix Doubront (shoulder) went on the DL, and is currently appealing a 6-game suspension for the fracas he was involved with May 30 at home vs. the Rays for allegedly throwing at Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria.
This will be his fourth start since rejoining the Sox, and first ever against the Orioles after all four of his previous appearances vs. Baltimore came from the bullpen (4 IP, 0 ER).
Tillman was knocked around in Texas last Thursday, hitting the showers without recording an out in the second inning and having surrendered five runs. But he hasn't had any trouble like that against the Red Sox. Baltimore has won both of his assignments vs. Boston this season -- one of those a 2-1 win in Baltimore on Opening Day -- to leave the Orioles 8-3 in his last 11 assignments in the series, the Anaheim native owning a 2.63 ERA in those outings.
Umpire Notes, Mother
Nature & A Free Pick
Brian Gorman got off to a pretty good 'under' start to 2014, five of his first eight plate assignments staying below the totals. But the 24-year veteran has since called three consecutive 'over' winners, leaving him 6-5 to the high side.
Rain didn't interrupt Monday's game, but that may not be the case Tuesday when forecasters are listing a 40%-50% shot at a t-storm in the early evening hours. Wind won't be helping either batters or pitchers, with the thermometer in the low-80s, uppers-70s for the contest.
Let's face it, the Red Sox are really struggling on this road trip, and having to face a pitcher like Tillman who has dominated them in the past isn't exactly the prescription for climbing out of the rut. And yet I'm drawn to Boston for some odd reason in this matchup. Let's run with a free pick on the visiting underdogs.
My Pick: Red Sox +105
Season: 61-57 (+3.30)
Red Sox vs. Orioles Game 1
By: Willie Bee
The stage is set for a potential knock-down, drag-out series to begin the week in Baltimore where the Orioles host the Boston Red Sox in a clash of struggling squads.
Both teams have been simply treading water their past 10 games as they prepare to set the next three days in motion with a 7:05 PM (ET) start in Monday's lid-lifter. A pair of righthanders collide in Game 1, Jake Peavy taking his turn in Boston's rotation against Bud Norris. Baltimore is going off from the low -110s to -125 on the moneyline, and SBR's live baseball odds are starting to see some 8.5 run totals creep in among the 9's.
The old foes are clashing in Baltimore for the second time this season after opening their schedules at Camden Yards on March 31. Two of those three games went to the Red Sox, who are 105-72 all-time at Oriole Park, and all three fell short of the scoreboard tally after four of the previous five in Charm City shot past the mark
They met a couple of weeks after that in Boston where a 4-game set was halved. Three of the matchups in that series were 'over' winners.
BoSox End Road Skid In Finale At Detroit
Boston (28-34, -12.3 units, 25-34-3 O/U/P) began its road trip with five consecutive losses in Cleveland and Detroit, finally stopping that streak Sunday night with a late rally to beat the Tigers. The Red Sox lineup has been a bit slow this year, ranking in the bottom third of the American League in scoring (4.08 rpg) and 13th in homers (48).
Peavy has struggled the last four weeks, Boston losing four of his last five start while the righthander pitched to a 7.04 ERA in the matchups. The Alabama native was on the hill in Cleveland last Tuesday when the Tribe plated three in the opening frame, and two more in the seventh to end his evening in a 5-3 Boston loss. That marked the fourth time in five assignments that Peavy allowed 5+ runs.
He also surrendered five when he faced the Orioles in Boston on April 20. Once again, Peavy fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, walking four and giving up 10 hits. Boston rallied from the 5-0 hole for a 6-5 walk-off victory. Monday will be his first appearance on the mound at Camden Yards.
Is Machado Heading to O's Doghouse?
Baltimore (31-30, +2.7 units, 31-29-1 O/U/P) has been on the decline for the past month, an 11-16 run culminating with the A's taking two of three from the Orioles over the weekend to begin their 10-game homestand. Some of the frustration appears to be boiling over, especially for young third baseman Manny Machado who was ejected from Sunday's 11-1 loss to Oakland and could be headed to a suspension for throwing his bat.
Norris was dinged up last Wednesday against the Rangers, taking a grounder off his right forearm in a 6-5 win at Texas. There was some question about him making this start, but he pronounced himself fine after throwing on the side Saturday. He allowed all five Ranger runs, all five coming plateward on a pair of Adrian Beltre homers, but his offense gave him just enough for the dubya after Norris lost three of his previous four starts.
He missed the Red Sox in the first series of the season, and took a loss in Boston on April 19 (6.1 IP, 4 ER). The O's have dropped both of his assignments vs. the Sox since he joined Baltimore last year, and the Astros lost his only start against Boston during his tenure in Houston.
The weatherman does list a 30% chance of a thunderstorm, or two, in the Baltimore area this afternoon, and into the early evening. That same forecast appears for the next couple of days, as well. The games should get played, though a delay that might affect the starting pitchers is very possible. Expect muggy temps in the upper-70s for the start of Monday's contest with a light southerly breeze (out to center).
Nothing about either team excites me right now, and the same is true for both starting hurlers. I'm going to put some faith in the lineups with a free baseball pick on the high side of the total.
My Free MLB Pick: Red Sox-Orioles 'Over' 8.5 (-110)
Season: 60-56 (+3.40)