The Orioles and Red Sox play a rubber match Thursday afternoon at Fenway. Boston rookie Eduardo Rodriguez is a short favorite for today's game, but this handicapper is thinking "fade" against the possibly shorthanded Sox.
O's-Sox Thursday Betting Odds
As of early Thursday AM the best line we could find on Boston with rookie Eduardo Rodriguez was the -116 offered at 5Dimes, while Baltimore and Miguel Gonzalez were getting +112 at Heritage.
These teams have split the first two games of this series, setting up Thursday's rubber match. Baltimore won Tuesday 6-4, while Boston won Wednesday 5-1. So the Red Sox (32-41) have won five of their last eight games, while the loss ended the O's (37-34) three-game winning streak.
On the injury front Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez both got hurt Wednesday, and both may miss Thursday's game. Meanwhile, Orioles OF Adam Jones has missed recent action with a sore shoulder and will probably miss today's game, too.
Rodriguez (3-1, 3.13) is four-for-five on quality starts since beginning his ML career a month ago. Through his first three starts he allowed just one run through 20 2/3 innings; then Toronto bombed him for nine runs in less than five innings; but last time out at Kansas City Rodriguez gave up just one run through 6 1/3 innings. For the season E-Rod has allowed 22 hits in 31 2/3 innings; Boston has won three of his starts.
Sixteen days ago Rodriguez held Baltimore scoreless on three hits through six innings of a game the Sox eventually lost 1-0. But it might be interesting to see if Orioles hitters can get a read on Rodriguez in this, their second shot at him.
Gonzalez (5-4, 3.33) will be making his first start since doing a two-week stint on the DL with a sore groin. He had been going alright, allowing just four runs over his previous three starts, covering 19 innings. On the season Baltimore is 7-5 in Gonzalez' starts, with the UNDERS going 8-4.
Gonzalez has already started three times this year against the Red Sox, allowing seven runs through 15 1/3 innings; the Orioles won two of those games, and two games played OVER.
O's-Sox Free Picks
We might give Rodriguez an edge in the pitching match-up, but Baltimore hitters should have a little more success against him today than they did the first time they saw him. We like the Orioles to take Thursday's rubber match. Also, with key bats missing from both lineups we're thinking UNDER with your MLB picks.