MLB Odds & Picks for Orioles vs. Red Sox: Back Rich Hill, Boston at Home
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill
- The Red Sox are home favorites on Monday against the Orioles.
- With lefty Rich Hill on the mound, what's the best way to bet on Boston?
- Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Orioles vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-176|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After alternating wins and losses, the Orioles and Red Sox will play a rare and decisive fifth game to determine the winner of this series. On Sunday, it was Boston's turn to play the role of the victor as it hit a season-high five home runs en route to a 12-2 win.
Although momentum in baseball is often described as the next day's pitcher, I think the Red Sox will feel a bit buoyed following their offensive outburst on Sunday. The series finale will feature Boston's veteran left-hander Rich Hill against Baltimore's Tyler Wells.
I'll share my thoughts on why we should expect a fast start from the Red Sox on Monday night and why Hill is precisely the pitcher they'd want on the mound in this spot.
Will the Orioles Elevate Their Play on the Road?
Baltimore had no place to go but up after posting a league-worst 5.85 team ERA last year. This season it ranks 20th with a 4.10 ERA. However, the offense has gotten worse as the wRC+ value is down from 91 to 88. That's led to a -43 Run Differential and a .403 Pythagorean Win Expectation.
Although I've cashed a few tickets with Baltimore as a heavy underdog, I'm less inclined to pursue that same tactic this time around. You have to pick your spots with the Orioles, and backing them on the road is generally something you should try to avoid.
Our Action Labs database shows that Baltimore is just 8-18 away from Camden Yards for a loss of 4.37 units. Whereas at home, Baltimore is 12-11 for 4.82 units. Wells's home/away splits practically mimic his team's performance on the road, given that he's 1-0 with a 2.29 ERA in four starts at home vs. 1-3 with a 6.50 ERA in five starts on the road.
At first glance, his overall numbers aren't too bad, considering that he's 1-4 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He's shown good command as his 1.43 BB/9 ratio is reasonably low, and his 1.19 HR/9 ratio isn't high enough to warrant much suspicion. His advanced stats are also reasonably stable, given his 4.09 FIP and a 4.45 xFIP. Yet, while these numbers appear decent, the contrast of him pitching at home vs. on the road cannot be overlooked.
Can Hill and the Red Sox Stifle the Orioles?
Hill is still getting it done, even in his 19th season in the majors. The veteran is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in eight starts. Unlike Wells, Hill's struggles have come at home instead of on the road. At Fenway Park, he's 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in three starts vs. a 1-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in five starts on the road.
However, I think the Orioles are the perfect opponent to cure his home woes. Not only do the Orioles have a worse split on the road (.222/.287/.346) vs. at home (.236/.308/.357), but they've performed worse against left-handers (.216/.286/.320) vs. right-handers (.236/.303/.368).
This season, Hill has improved the command of his pitches compared to recent years, as his 2.31 BB/9 ratio is his lowest since 2015. He's always been a strike-thrower, as evidenced by a 30.2% Called Plus Swinging Strike Rate for his career. Thus, I think he should expand the strike zone against an Orioles team that has the fourth-highest Chase Rate in the league at 34.9%.
According to Baseball Savant, Hill has also had success against this current Orioles lineup. In 49 at-bats, he's limited Orioles hitters to a .184 batting average with a .264 xBA.
Orioles-Red Sox Pick
The Boston Red Sox have pulled within two games of .500, and I think they will be galvanized off of Sunday's performance. Normally you'd expect a response from a team that got shellacked by 12 runs, but the Orioles have often struggled to bounce back in this spot—particularly in the early frames of their next game.
According to our Action Labs database, the Orioles are 30-39-1 against the spread in the first five innings when coming off a game in which they allowed at least 12 runs. Moreover, throughout his career, Hill is 5-1 (+5 units) against the spread in the first five innings when facing the Orioles. Lastly, the Orioles have yet to cover the first five runline in any of Wells's five starts on the road this season.
With the Red Sox moneyline as high at -175 for the game, I recommend a half unit on their first five runline at -0.5/-110 over at DraftKings.
Pick: Half Unit on Red Sox F5 RL -0.5 (-110)