The Boston Red Sox continue a nine-game road trip through the AL East as they make their first visit of the season to division doormat Baltimore on Friday. The Sox are solid favorites on the MLB odds – Baltimore won’t be favored much this season.
How to Bet Red Sox at Orioles MLB Odds & TV Info
Why Bet on Boston?
The Red Sox held out All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts and DH JD Martinez from Thursday’s game in Toronto. Bogaerts was simply held out for rest. He has seven hits in his past two games and is hitting a cool .397 this season, second in the majors. He leads MLB with 29 hits and already has seven three-hit games. In a season with major questions about the new baseballs sapping power, Bogaerts is content to use the entire field. He only has one homer, but he’s on pace for 50-plus doubles.
Martinez said after he aggravated an adductor injury in Wednesday’s 7-1 win. Martinez, who missed four straight games last week with the core-muscle injury, experienced renewed adductor discomfort while pulling into second base on a double during his 2-for-4 performance Wednesday. Martinez might not play Friday but the hope is he will be available at some point this series. Travis Shaw was at DH on Thursday.
It’s lefty Rich Hill (0-1, 4.85) on the mound here. Hill hurled four scoreless innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Rays. Hill struggled with his control, issuing three walks, but managed to limit the Rays to just four hits across four frames. He generated only three swinging strikes and mustered one strikeout. The 42-year-old holds 1.62 WHIP and 7/6 K/BB ratio across 13 innings (three starts).
Pitcher Tanner Houck will return to the active roster on Friday. Houck was placed on the restricted list this week, as he was unable to make the trip to Toronto because he’s unvaccinated against COVID-19. However, he’ll make his return Friday and is expected to piggyback Hill. Houck’s last appearance was last Sunday in Tampa Bay when he threw 15 pitches over 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Why Bet on Baltimore?
First baseman Ryan Mountcastle remained out of the Orioles’ lineup on Thursday against the Yankees. Mountcastle was scratched from the lineup on Wednesday due to neck stiffness and is day-to-day. Second baseman Ramon Urias also was out Thursday. Urias has yet to get going at the plate this season, hitting .203/.242/.237 through 15 games.
Urias owns an xBA of .299, a difference of -0.096 compared to his actual batting average of .203; marks the 13th-largest difference between xBA and actual batting average in the AL. Trey Mancini owns an xBA of .318, a difference of -0.094 compared to his actual batting average of .224; marks the 15th-largest difference between xBA and actual batting average in the AL. Mancini’s xSLG is .574, compared to his actual slugging percentage of .313; the -0.261 difference marks the eighth-largest margin between xSLG and actual slugging percentage in MLB.
The Orioles this season are 0-2 when hitting multiple home runs in a game. They are one of four MLB teams to not have a win in a game in which they hit multiple home runs, along with the Cincinnati Reds (0-3), Detroit Tigers (0-1), and Washington Nationals (0-1).
It’s Spenser Watkins (0-0) on the mound Friday. Watkins pitched well in a no-decision against the Angels last Saturday, allowing two runs on three hits over his five frames. Watkins struck out three and walked three. The only two runs that he allowed came on solo home runs off the bat of Mike Trout — one in the opening inning and the other in the fifth. Watkins generated 10 swings and misses on the night while posting a CSW of 25 percent.
With John Means having Tommy John surgery, Watkins could now find himself locked into the starting rotation for the foreseeable future. After logging 16 games last season, the 29-year-old has pitched well in three starts with 2.77 ERA in 13 innings though his FIP is higher at 4.04 due to a 1.25 WHIP compared to just five strikeouts.