Red Sox vs. Orioles MLB Picks: Eat the Chalk with Confidence

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, April 17, 2015 2:21 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 17, 2015 2:21 PM GMT

When the Boston Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles tonight in the first of their four-game series, the MLB Odds are favoring Boston and have set the run total to 8.5 Here's our best bet for Friday's match.

Baltimore Orioles (Jimenez) at Boston Red Sox (Kelly) (-110) 7:10 ET MLB TV
These American East rivals take the field Friday night, when Baltimore visits Boston for the first of a 4-game extended weekend series.  The Orioles enter at 5-4 SU, after beating the Yankees Tuesday and Wednesday night.  The Red Sox enter following a home loss to Washington by a score of (10-5) on Wednesday.  But, the resurgent Red Sox are still 6-3 SU for the season.  Also do keep in mind when making your MLB picks that each of tonight’s starters enters off strong first outings.  But, that is where the similarity ends. 

Under Buck Showalter, the Orioles have recorded the 2nd most wins in the American League (274) in the last 3 seasons.  Oakland is tops at 278!  For Baltimore, that includes a 96-66 SU season of last, included was a 46-35 road record (only KC was better with 47 wins on the highway).  Much of the Baltimore success has come courtesy of the long-ball, as they led the majors with 211 homers last year.  Baltimore is still dealing with the loss of catcher, Matt Wieters, and the shoulder injury to J.J. Hardy.  Then, there is the issue that Markakis and Cruz left via free-agency.  The Orioles figure to need more from their starting rotation, if they are to maintain that winning pace.  Jimenez certainly performed that way in his first outing.  In a victory vs. Toronto, Jimenez worked 7 innings, allowing no runs on 1 hit with an 8/1 KBB.  It would be rare that Jimenez is able to duplicate that outing.  Since the miraculous 1st half of his 2010 season with Colorado, Jimenez has authored 4 seasons with an ERA approaching 5.00 and a WHIP approaching 1.50.  That includes last year when Jimenez worked 125 1/3 IP with a 4.81 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.   He will have little confidence when facing Boston.  In 7 starts vs. the Red Sox, Jimenez has worked 32 2/3 IP to a 9.37 ERA with a 2.02 WHIP and .314 BAA.  

The rollercoaster that has been the Boston Red Sox looks like it may continue this season.  In the last 3 regular seasons, the Red Sox have recorded 69 wins in 2012, 97 wins in 2013, and 71 wins in a highly disappointing 2014 season.  Now, the Red Sox appear to be recording another bounce back season.  Boston's 6-3 opening run is testimony to that.  So is the fact they just lit up the strong Washington pitching staff for 22 runs, in taking 2 of 3 from Washington earlier this week.  In fact, in their 9-game schedule, they have scored fewer than 5 runs only twice.  As noted above, they should get a big piece from Jimenez.  Tonight’s Red Sox starter, Joe Kelly, was acquired from St. Louis in the 2nd half of last season.  Kelly had a strong history with the Cards.  That was reinforced in is first outing when he worked 7 IP, allowing just 1 run on 1 hit with 8/2 KBB in a victory vs. NYY.  

Well aware that Baltimore had 25 more victories than Boston last year!  But, the Red Sox appear to be the better team this season and thus are being favored by the the MLB odds.  With a value price at home and the pitching mismatch of Kelly vs. Jimenez, I like the Red Sox to record a Game 1 win in this 4-game extended weekend set.

MLB Picks: Take Boston Red Sox -120 at Bet365

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