When the most recent AL MVP betting odds were released, Tigers star Miguel Cabrera was the even-money favorite. That makes sense as Cabrera potentially could be the first player ever to win back-to-back Triple Crowns.
The second-favorite was Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis at 3-1, and he’s making his own Triple Crown case. The lefty slugger trails only Cabrera in batting average and is third in RBIs but leads the AL with 21 homers.
He will be the primary focus of Boston’s pitching in this weekend’s four-game series at Camden Yards. When betting series prices, only the first three games of a four-game series count and the Orioles will be very slight favorites, around -125, because they won’t see either Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz in those first three games.
Davis has slowed down a bit for Baltimore, as he hadn’t homered or knocked in a run since June 2 before homering Wednesday. Baltimore won the series, its fourth straight series win at home and all against good competition (the Tigers, Nationals and Yankees). Before that run, the Orioles had lost seven straight games at home.
The Red Sox lost two of three to Baltimore at Fenway Park from April 8-10. Davis had two hits in that series, both solo home runs. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, a rising superstar at age 20, hit .385 against Boston with a homer and three RBIs. Outfielder Adam Jones hit .308 with a homer but also struck out a team-high six times. Matt Wieters, one of the best catchers in the AL, was 1-for-10.
Baltimore is scheduled to start rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-3, 8.84) on Thursday. He’s one of the team’s top prospects but has had a rough start to his big-league career. Gausman allowed seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings last time out against Tampa Bay. The former LSU star has made just one start so far at Camden Yards, and it was easily his best, holding the Tigers to one run on five hits over six innings. It was the only start of Gausman’s that the Orioles have won. No Red Sox have faced him.
On Friday, the Orioles will be approximately -140 favorites behind right-hander Chris Tillman (6-2, 3.89). He has allowed more than three runs in just one start all year and has allowed a total of three earned runs over 13 innings in his past two starts, giving up just eight hits. Baltimore has won his past four starts. Tillman allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings April 11 at Boston. When considering a Boston hitting prop in the game, look to Dustin Pedroia. He’s hitting .357 with three RBIs in his career off Tillman. No Red Sox have homered off him.
Saturday, Baltimore starts veteran Freddy Garcia (3-3, 4.47). He has won three of his past four starts. Garcia has seen the Sox plenty, going 10-4 with 4.51 ERA in 129.2 career innings. Consider a bet on David Ortiz here. Big Papi is batting .317 with two homers and seven RBIs in his career off Garcia.
The Sox were 3-6 in Baltimore last season. Boston remains the +160 favorite to win the AL East.
This post is presented by Bovada.