The Boston Red Sox and the visiting Baltimore Orioles will battle for three games with first place in the American League East on the line beginning on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Both clubs squandered an opportunity to enter the series with the lead when the Orioles fell at Toronto on Sunday and the Red Sox lost in Minnesota.
The two clubs got a day off on Monday to contemplate their respective crushing defeats, with Boston going down on a walk-off home run in the 10th inning and the Orioles leaving the tying run at third base in a 10-9 setback to the Blue Jays. The setback was the third straight for Baltimore, which allowed 30 runs in the four-game series at Toronto. The Orioles gave up a total of 29 runs in a four-game series at home against Boston bridging May and June but managed to slug their way to a pair of wins and take a 4-3 lead in the season series. The Red Sox are just 4-4 since leaving that series in Baltimore and are opening a 10-game homestand on Tuesday that includes visits from the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN 2 (Baltimore), NESN (Boston)
Orioles – RP D. O’Day (15-Day DL, hamstring), 3B Manny Machado (Questionable Tuesday, suspension appeal).
Red Sox – C B. Swihart (15-Day DL, ankle), C R. Hanigan (15-Day DL, neck), LF B. Holt (15-Day DL, concussion).
WEATHER REPORT: It is going to be a perfect day for baseball at Boston’s historic Fenway Park on Tuesday night. Temperatures will be in the mid-70’s, skies will be clear, humidity will be low, and there will be a light 5 mph breeze blowing in from the Green Monster in left field. Perfect day to hit up the Cask ‘n Flagon after work and make your way over to the stadium for game-time.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Chris Tillman (8-1, 3.01 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (7-3, 4.63)
Tillman bounced back from one of his worst starts of the season with one of his best on Wednesday against Kansas City, striking out nine without issuing a walk in 7 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. The 28-year-old allowed three home runs in each of his previous two starts but surrendered just one extra-base hit – a double – against the Royals. Tillman missed Boston the first two times around this season but is 9-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 18 career starts against the Red Sox.
Price is looking much more like the ace Boston paid him to be over the last month with a string of six straight quality starts. The former No. 1 overall draft pick was a tough-luck loser in San Francisco on Wednesday, when he was reached for two runs on three hits – two solo home runs – over eight innings in a game the Red Sox went on to lose 2-1. Price was knocked around for five runs in as many innings against Baltimore on April 11 and is 8-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 20 career starts against the Orioles.
* Orioles are 14-3 in Tillman’s last 17 starts.
* Red Sox are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. American League East.
* Over is 6-1 in Orioles last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 6-0-1 in Red Sox last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
* Orioles are 12-2 in Tillman’s last 14 starts vs. Red Sox.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Red Sox are picking up 64 percent of the wagers on Covers while Over 8.5 is grabbing 67 percent of the totals plays. View full consensus data here.