Betting odds: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles

  • Red Sox -169 (Rick Porcello)
  • Orioles +159 (Kevin Gausman)
  • Over/Under: 9 (o+105)
  • First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

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Going into the second half of the season, I was led to believe the Orioles would have significant betting value down the stretch. I mean, they capped off one of the worst first halves in MLB history by trading their best player.

That’s a situation average bettors will stay away from at all costs, right?

Imagine my surprise then when I saw the Red Sox open at just -166 against the Orioles on Monday.

Porcello is coming off a really poor start. And somehow that factor, and others, have created an opportunity to bet against the Orioles, the worst team in baseball.

Why yes, I will do that, thank you.

Porcello got rocked by Toronto the last time out, allowing eight earned runs in just two-plus innings. Walks doomed him the first time through the order, and when everyone came back around, they hammered him, hitting two home runs and a double to finally knock him out of the game.

Here’s the thing, though: None of Porcello’s underlying metrics or statistics really indicate that something is wrong here. He hasn’t been getting particularly lucky this season. Sometimes, you get hit. Sometimes you don’t have it. That’s how it works.

Whether Porcello has it or not, Boston usually provides him with an absurd amount of run support — 6.22 runs per game! I hope you like crooked numbers, because you may see all of them tonight. If Porcello is even competent here, the Red Sox win this game a really high percentage of the time.

Part of the reason for that optimistic statement is the recent struggles of Gausman, Baltimore’s starter. After Gausman had a good run in May and June, his numbers paint a picture of someone who may be unraveling. His strikeout stats and swing-and-miss metrics are as low as they’ve been all season in his past few starts. Putting him in front of the Red Sox offense right now has to have Boston licking its chops.


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You could play Boston’s team total over, or first-five team total over, or find another way to play the combination of a struggling Gausman and Porcello’s frequent run support.

But I’m just going to take the Sox, because this price is a little too short. There’s a chance I’m undervaluing Baltimore’s home-field advantage compared to other games, because I rate it basically zero. I expect Boston fans in attendance, if there are any fans there at all.

Oh, and also, there’s a murky weather situation in the works too: 40% chance of precipitation for several hours around game time. If it becomes a battle of the bullpens due to a lengthy delay, the Red Sox win that battle a really high percentage of the time, as well. I do not fear rain in this game.

The Bet: Red Sox -169


Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rick Porcello

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