MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Red Sox vs. Orioles (Friday, April 29)
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Bradish (Orioles)
- The Red Sox take on the Orioles in an AL East battle from Baltimore.
- The Orioles are starting No. 10 overall prospect Kyle Bradish, who must maintain control if he wants to have a successful outing.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Red Sox vs. Orioles Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-125|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Baltimore Orioles are bringing up their No. 10 prospect Kyle Bradish to throw at Camden Yards against veteran Rich Hill and the Boston Red Sox.
The Orioles have a few sluggers in their lineup who can thrive against lefty pitching. Even if Hill has fared well this season, he will allow some hard-hit balls.
Building off of that, this Baltimore bullpen has been shockingly elite in the early going of this season.
Since Boston has yet to pick it up hitting-wise, taking the Orioles at plus-money here is the right call.
Sox’s Hill Doesn’t Match Up Well
Hill is a curveball pitcher. The 42-year-old throws this pitch around 45% of the time. Otherwise, he will mainly concentrate on pitching his fastball with little else mixed in.
This Orioles team has some batters who love facing lefty off-speed pitches. Going back to last season, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Jorge Mateo, Ryan McKenna and Trey Mancini all boast a .335+ xwOBA on lefty curves.
When adding in the four-seamer with the curveball, Kelvin Gutierrez, Cedric Mullins, Ramon Urias and Austin Hays are all above the .335 mark. This essentially encapsulates the entire Baltimore lineup. They should force Hill out earlier than his usual four innings.
The Boston bullpen has been decent to start. It has a 3.57 xFIP, but it does allow plenty of fly balls. The bullpen’s ground-ball rate ranks 26th at 38.5%, so if the Baltimore lineup can get solid contact, it can extend the rally to the middle relief portion of the ballgame.
Jake Diekman is another prominent fixture at the back-end of the bullpen. Since he is another southpaw — who has actually been struggling — the Orioles could take advantage there, as well, if he gets any action in this game.
Can Bradish Maintain Control?
For Bradish, his main issue has been control. He utilizes an arsenal of a four-seamer, cutter, curve and changeup. His curve is his out-pitch, outside of his fastball, which hovers around 95 MPH.
In 15 innings of work, he has posted a 1.20 ERA and 0.73 WHIP, so his four pitches seem to be working for him at the moment. If he maintains control, he should be able to break out against a Boston lineup that has not yet caught fire.
Boston has 80 wRC+ against righties this season. It only has five hitters above the .340 xwOBA mark. This is concerning when Trevor Story and J.D. Martinez have not quite taken off when facing right-handers. This could be a concern against the Baltimore bullpen, too.
Keegan Akin, Paul Fry and Alexander Wells are the southpaws in the Orioles’ bullpen. Since the Red Sox have so much trouble with righties, it might be best to avoid those three. However, Fry is really the only one who has not done well when called upon this season, so in a matchup position, they could be fine.
Jorge Lopez & Co. have posted the most fWAR in the league thus far. This has not been a total accident. Only three pitchers in the bullpen have a 4.00+ xFIP. That said, their collective xwOBA is .351. They will come back to earth a bit, but they have many arms to choose from when Bradish exits the game.
Red Sox-Orioles Pick
Bradish just needs to maintain control over the strike zone. Boston has the highest chase rate in the MLB at the moment. If his curveball and changeup are working, he could have an impressive debut.
After him, the O’s have the bullpen to take care of business.
Pick: Orioles +120.
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