Date/Time: August 28, 7:10 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: Baltimore (Norris) vs. Boston (Lackey)
MLB Gambling Odds from TopBet
Moneyline: Red Sox (-150) Orioles (+135)
The Baltimore Orioles have really been a thorn in the side of the Boston Red Sox over the last couple years. No one will forget the Red Sox finish in 2011, and the Orioles have kept their momentum going against Boston since then. Boston would love nothing more than to pay them back here. The Red Sox trounced Baltimore 13-2 in the series opener Tuesday night. Let’s take a look at Wednesday’s matchup.
The Baltimore Orioles won with pitching last year, but it has really been the offense leading the way this season. Baltimore has gotten amazing production out of Chris Davis. Davis leads the majors with 46 home runs. Just as impressive is the fact that he is hitting .302. Davis isn’t just a power hitter who strikes out constantly, he is now a complete hitter. The Orioles lineup doesn’t have many easy outs. Adam Jones is a star, and Manny Machado is going to be a star in this league for a very long time. Brian Roberts has started hitting the ball well of late. Baltimore averages 4.78 runs per game.
The Orioles pitching staff has been disappointing this year. Baltimore went out and got Bud Norris at the trading deadline to help give the team more pitching depth. Norris has struggled of late. He has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts. As a whole, the Orioles have the fifth worst ERA in all of baseball. Closer Jim Johnson hasn’t been nearly as reliable as he was last season. The Orioles are relying on the offense to outslug their opponent right now.
Boston leads the AL East with an impressive 78-55 record. The Red Sox have played good baseball from the beginning of the season all the way up to now. They haven’t had many big slumps, and they just keep winning baseball games. The offense ranks second in baseball in runs per game at 5.07. Boston hits .274 as a team. David Ortiz leads the team with a .316 average and 24 home runs. Jacoby Ellsbury is burning up the base paths. He has 47 stolen bases and has only been caught four times. The Red Sox have a terrific lineup that is capable of putting up big numbers on any given night.
John Lackey has been excellent for the Red Sox this year. Lackey was really disappointing a couple years ago, and many Red Sox fans wanted him gone, but he has been better than ever this year after coming back from an injury. Lackey has a 3.17 ERA this year, and he has been very consistent. The improvement of the Boston pitching staff this year has really propelled them to the top of the division. Koji Uehara’s emergence as a solid closer has really helped the bullpen excel.
Free MLB Pick: Under 9.5
The under has been great with Lackey on the hill, and the number here is set pretty high. Look for a much tighter game than yesterday, with the under being the best value.