A couple of lefties are fooling batters up and down the American League East. Unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, neither Andrew Miller nor Eduardo Rodriguez still pitch for their club. After losing Miller in free agency to the New York Yankees, Baltimore gets to see the prospect they used to acquire Miller from the Boston Red Sox at last year’s trade deadline. Rodriguez gets set to make his third career start, which will be the first against the franchise that held him in the minor leagues.
When a team plummets to last place in the division after spending well over $100 million in the offseason, the fan base may tend to react extremely in the absence of patience. Some fans in Boston may be jumping the gun when they call Eduardo Rodriguez the ace of their Red Sox rotation. Then again, maybe not. Rodriguez has come up to the big club at the tender age of 22 and has been pretty much unhittable in his first 15 career innings. The left-hander has allowed just five hits and a single solo home run en route to a 2-0 start. He’s also struck out 14 batters while walking four. Boston finally has its first three-game winning streak since early April and it will be hungry to continue winning after having jumped the Orioles to shove the birds back down into the basement of the East.
While Rodriguez makes his third career start, Miguel Gonzalez starts against the Red Sox for the third time this season. Gonzalez has been terrific this season, with a WHIP of just 1.11. But his two starts against the Sox have been mediocre. He gave up seven runs in 11 innings against them in back-to-back starts in late April. Such might not be good enough against Rodriguez as the Orioles try to figure out the youngster in their first look as a team. You’ve got to keep riding Rodriguez in this initial stretch of his career and I like Gonzalez too much this season to resist taking an under in a spot that looks to have some value. The game total isn’t a bad play, but I’ll take the first five innings in this one.
Free Pick: Under 4 (First 5 Innings) -110
YTD: 5-4-2 +0.36
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02