Which team’s the best bet on the MLB lines as the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles are both trying to get something going this season. Can either team make a move during this midweek series in Maryland?
The Boston Red Sox Can Win Because...
They are going to be able to give the ball to a red-hot pitcher. Eduardo Rodriguez is a 22-year-old lefthanded starter who is two games into his big-league career. Being a lefty, he's that much more valuable for a team. He can give lefty hitters a very hard time. He has really good stuff, and what's most important at the moment is that there's no real book on him. Teams don't have a very developed scouting report, so they can't exactly read his pitchers or know what patterns he likes to work with.
It shows in the results. Rodriguez has a tiny 0.61 ERA. Sure, the sample size is low, and the aggregate number of innings is very small at 14 2/3, but the facts are that in two major-league starts, Rodriguez has gone at least seven full innings twice, giving up a combined total of one run on just five hits. He gave up a solo homer to the Minnesota Twins, and that's it. Nothing else. He's pitched around those other four hits plus four walks. Hitters are having a very hard time reading him, and a Baltimore offense that has largely struggled this season might not be the group that's going to figure him out. It could be that it will take another month or two for major league hitters to get a good read on Rodriguez, but by that time, the Orioles won't be able to do much about this week and this point in time. Rodriguez probably has the advantage against Baltimore in this specific situation. As long as he doesn't get nervous or make uncharacteristic mistakes, he should be pretty good.
The Baltimore Orioles Can Win Because...
They are confident that Matt Wieters could give them the lift they've been looking for. Everyone knows that the Orioles have struggled this season. There have been many reasons, not just one, but a key part of the puzzle that's been missing for the Orioles is Wieters, who provided a lot of clutch hits last year and gave stability to the batting order. Wieters returned to the lineup this past weekend in Cleveland against the Indians, and on Sunday, he hit his first home run of the season. This is a tangible lift in terms of production, and giving the Orioles another better bat in the lineup. However, it's also a very real emotional boost for a team that hasn't seen a lot of things go right this season. The Orioles might be spurred on to play better as a result of this development on their roster.
Baltimore should also feel good about sending starter Miguel Gonzalez to the bump with a 3.54 ERA. He's given up a total of just four runs in his last two starts, totaling 14 2/3 innings. He has bounced back from two awful starts and is giving the O's a lot more of what they want in the month of June.
Both teams are coming off a day off and while the Red Sox are 3-3 in this spot, the O’s are bizarrely 1-5. The key for Gonzalez seems to be home runs. He’s already giving up 11 this season. He’s allowed just 23 hits in 35.2 innings pitched at home and opposing batters are hitting just .180, but he’s also allowed five home runs, which has proven to be costly.
As for Rodriguez, he’s made two starts and given up just one earned run in the process. He’s been virtually untouchable. As long as he stays steady and Gonzalez doesn’t give up the long ball, under should be the best MLB pick. 5Dimes has the best price on the line right now and 8 under -110, so I’ll bet them in this spot.
MLB Pick: Under 8 -110 at 5Dimes