It would seem absolutely unrealistic to think that the Baltimore Orioles would be favored on the MLB betting lines this late in the season against the Boston Red Sox, but that’s the situation that we are in as these two teams get ready to square off on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
The boys from Beantown are in a heck of a lot of trouble. They are proving to be nothing more than a mediocre team, and they have been hovering right around the .500 mark for months. Now though, they could fall three games under .500 if they lose this game, and the truth of the matter is that they are probably too far out with too little time left to even think about sniffing the postseason. Manager Bobby Valentine is going to likely at least be considered for being fired at the end of the season, and the man that is probably going to be going with him is Josh Beckett. Two years ago, anyone would have wanted Beckett on their team, but now, the righty is such a polarizing man in the locker room that no one would want to touch him. To make matters even worse, the righty has a 4.97 ERA and a 5-9 record, and there aren’t many teams that would want to be associated with that either.
Meanwhile, Baltimore is still right in the thick of the playoff hunt, and it really looks as though it is going to stay involved in this race right through the very end of the season. Manager Buck Showalter deserves all of the credit in the world for the work that he has done with his young pitchers this year, including the man that is going to be on the mound on Tuesday, Wei-Yin Chen. Chen got roughed up in his last start, allowing seven runs in 4.2 innings, but prior to that, he had thrown 12.2 frames of scoreless ball and struck out 16 men in that time. Chen has 114 strikeouts this year, and he has a 3.79 ERA. Batters are also hitting just .239 against the righty. The Red Sox were stymied by Chen the last time that these two faced each other, as they mustered just one run and seven hits in seven frames. Chen got the win that day.
This one is easy. Take the name “Baltimore” and the name “Boston” out of the picture right now. Had this game been, say Tampa Bay against Toronto, teams that are in comparable spots, with the Rays being the home team, they would have been -170 favorites. Perception is the only reason why the Red Sox aren’t bigger underdogs in this game. Sometimes, perception and reality are a long, long ways apart from one another, and that’s exactly what we are going to see here once again on Tuesday night. Baltimore 7 – Boston 3