Public Loves Sox
After a difficult 10-game road trip, the Baltimore Orioles are happy to be heading home.
The Boston Red Sox are probably content to be traveling to Camden Yards, too.
The AL East rivals open their season series with a brief two-game set at Oriole Park on Tuesday as the Red Sox, who have won 16 of their last 21 in Baltimore, look to avoid their third straight loss.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston -163 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 93% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -163 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Baltimore's fast start was derailed on its recent trip, which included a five-game losing streak. The Orioles (19-19) won three of four during the final leg in Kansas City, but they still wrapped up the road swing 4-6.
They've dropped 10 of their last 15 overall after a 4-0 loss to the Royals Sunday. They had played 17 games in their previous 16 days before getting a needed day off on Monday.
"The road trip was tough," first baseman Kevin Millar told the Orioles' official Web site, "but that's part of baseball. It's a long season. Boys have their heads high and we're playing good."
Boston (24-17) is also nearing the end of a 10-game trip, on which it is currently 4-4. The Red Sox dropped three of four in Minnesota, capped by Monday's 7-3 defeat.
While the Red Sox have dropped 17 of their last 24 at the Metrodome, they have fared much better at Camden Yards, finishing each of the last nine seasons with a winning record there - going 54-23 over that span.
Josh Beckett (4-2, 3.70 ERA) has won all four of his career starts there, throwing at least seven innings and allowing two or fewer runs each time. Beckett has also won his first two starts this month, and is coming off a seven-inning, one-run, eight-strikeout performance at Detroit on Thursday.
"I made pitches when I needed them, and that's what it boils down to," Beckett said. "If I hadn't been able to make a couple key pitches, I would have given up a lot more runs. I had all four pitches working when I needed them, and that's big."
Beckett will face Jeremy Guthrie exactly one year after their first meeting, which took place at Fenway Park. Guthrie didn't allow an earned run in 8 1-3 innings in that game, but the Red Sox scored six times in the ninth inning for a 6-5 win. Beckett left that game after just four innings with a finger injury.
Guthrie (1-3, 4.32) had a 2.41 ERA in three starts against Boston last year, but had no record.
He's had similar problems with run support this season, with Baltimore scoring two or fewer runs for him in six of his eight starts. The Orioles only had two hits Sunday against the Royals, and are 12th in the AL in runs.
Boston scored 22 runs in four games against Minnesota, but its pitching faltered. The Red Sox had a 3-0 first-inning lead in Monday's game after Manny Ramirez's 498th career home run, but Clay Buchholz couldn't hold down the Twins.
Ramirez, who is looking to become the 24th player to hit 500 home runs, didn't start Sunday's game due to a sore hamstring, and he had homered just once since April 19.
"He swung the bat a lot more aggressive tonight," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told his team's official Web site. "He needed a night off last night with the hamstring. Maybe it did him some good, because his bat was quicker tonight. It was good to see."
Ramirez hasn't homered off Guthrie in seven career at-bats, and he has only three home runs in his last 29 games at Camden Yards. Bet this game.
Here are some top trends for today's game:
- BECKETT is 4-1 when starting against BALTIMORE with an ERA of 2.95 and a WHIP of 0.937.
- BALTIMORE is 16-9 (+9.5 Units) against the money line in night games this season.
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