Thursday Night MLB Preview & Pick

8 min


Boston Red Sox (29-23) @ Baltimore Orioles (27-24)

Start Time: 00:05 BST

Opening Lines: Red Sox 1.90, Total – O/U 9.0

Due to various fractious subplots, a bitter rivalry has been brewing this season between the Red Sox and the Orioles. In recent weeks MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred set up a video conference call between the teams in an attempt to cool the tensions. Whether this mediation has had the desired effect time will tell. The AL East rivals begin a 4 game set tonight in Camden Yards.

Back to the on field action. The Red Sox have been on a tear of late, winning 8 of their last 10 games to claim sole ownership of 2nd place in an ever competitive AL East. Despite the loss of All Star 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia, the Sox have kept things rolling through the strong hitting of young stars Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts. The return of the ‘Panda Bear’ Pablo Sandoval to the lineup this week in Chicago was an added boost to Boston, with the slugger going 3-4 at the plate last night.

Baltimore Orioles’ J.J. Hardy, left, tags out Boston Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi in an earlier meeting between the sides.

If the Red Sox have been ‘cheese’ of late then count the Orioles as ‘chalk’. The Birds have lost 8 of their last 10 games and have relinquished 2nd spot in the division to the aforementioned Red Sox. They did however win 2 of 3 this week vs the surging Yankees, and will be hopeful that these wins can spur them to greater things in June. The Orioles have a solid 5 wins in 9 encounters vs the Sox this season, and will badly need a series win this weekend to edge closer to the Boston club.


Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (4-1, 2.77 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wade Miley (1-3, 3.02 ERA)

In a previous life an Oriole , Eduardo Rodriguez is now firmly entrenched as a cornerstone of the Red Sox starting rotation. The southpaw has been a revelation this year and is currently on a 3 game win streak. His most recent outing vs Seattle was a 6 inning master class holding the Mariners to 5 hits with no runs to show for their efforts. Rodriguez’s last time out against tonight’s opponents ended in a similar fashion with ‘E Rod’ holding the Birds to just 1 hit and striking out 7 Baltimore hitters in the process. The Boston pitcher has a cracking record at Camden Yards too posting a 3-1 career record in Baltimore with a 1.34 ERA to boot in 6 career starts.

Fellow lefty Wade Miley is coming off a tough previous start allowing 8 hits over 5 innings in a 5-2 loss to the red hot Astros. Miley’s biggest issue this season has been a lack of control with his delivery from home plate. The Baltimore pitcher has walked an AL high 31 hitters in 53 innings. In his lone outing against Boston (last September) Miley was beaten up in a bad way surrendering 6 runs on 8 hits getting chased out of the game by the end of the 1st inning.

The Orioles’ Manny Machado will look to heat up his bat against the Red Sox tonight.


Boston’s shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been a bird killer this season going 12-32 at the plate averaging .375 in 9 games vs the Orioles. DH Hanley Ramirez has 3 long balls on the season vs Baltimore so will need to be kept in check by Wade Miley. Centre Fielder Mookie Betts is having another All Star season with 9 Home Runs and 32 RBI’s on his 2017 record coming into June.

Baltimore’s Manny Machado has been ice cold of late going 0-18 in his last 4 games striking out 10 times in the process. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for Machado as he notoriously hits the Red Sox well. The third baseman has 4 Home Runs with 6 RBI’s against the Boston club already this season. On the opposite side of the diamond slugging first baseman Chris Davis has 9 hits in 9 games vs the Red Sox this season.

Red Sox’s pitcher Matt Barnes (left) has been strong in relief this year coming out of the bullpen.


  • Red Sox are 4-0 SU in Rodriguez’s last 4 starts.
  • Orioles are 20-8 SU in their last 28 home games.
  • Orioles are 3-7 SU in Miley’s last 10 home starts.
  • Under is 6-1 in Red Sox last 7 overall.
  • Under is 18-7-1 in Rodriguez’s last 26 road starts.
  • Under is 7-1 in Miley’s last 8 home starts.
  • Under is 7-1 in Miley’s last 8 home starts.
  • Under is 11-2-2 in the last 15 meetings between the clubs.


Boston opened at 1.85 here at Matchbook and steady public money moved this line to 1.81 throughout Thursday. As the Red Sox are generally a public team expect this line to get shorter before it drifts. Whilst the under looks a worthwhile investment given both teams penchant for that scenario in recent times, I would rather take the better team in this match-up. Factor in Rodriguez’s recent domination against the Orioles and his love of Camden Yards it’s hard to see past the Red Sox here and I expect them to rack up win number 30 tonight.