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Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles Free Pick - 8/29/13

Baltimore Orioles (70-61) at Boston Red Sox (79-55)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm (Fenway Park)

Chris Tillman (R) (14-4) (3.656) vs. Jon Lester (L) (12-7) (3.969)

The Line: Boston Red Sox -154 / Baltimore Orioles +144 --- Over/Under: 9 See the Latest Odds


The Boston Red Sox look to down the visiting Baltimore Orioles and solidify their grip in the East.

Baltimore is still in the running for the American League East title and Wild Card, but they have been fading a bit of late and that has to change in such a crucial part of the schedule. Translation: start winning now or you are asking for trouble. A 4-3 defeat at the East-leading Red Sox was a complete collapse by the Orioles relief corps, with starter Bud Norris allowing one run in 5.1 frames and handing the pen a 3-1 lead to protect. Francisco Rodriguez promptly gave up the tying runs before Tommy Hunter gave up a 9th inning run to absorb the loss. The bats totaled seven hits and walked once, with Chris Davis going deep and knocking in two with Manny Machado going solo. Baltimore turns to Chris Tillman to cool down the Boston offense on Thursday. Tillman was strong last time out in a 2-1 loss to Oakland, in which he allowed one run on three hits over eight innings.

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Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles Free Pick - 8/29/13

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston has been winning and making it tough for their suitors in the American League East to play catch up. They have made life for the Orioles miserable the last two nights and have won four in a row and seven of eleven overall. The work on the mound and at the plate have been on the same page in the victories, with both units doing just enough Wednesday. John Lackey gave his team a chance to win with three runs given up on seven hits and a free pass through 7.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox mounted a late rally to erase a 3-1 hole with a nine hit, five walk attack proving to be a winning combo. Dustin Pedroia paced the offense with a pair of RBI's that tied the game in the 7th, before Mike Carp rapped a walk-off single in the 9th. Left-hander Jon Lester takes the ball versus the rival Orioles on Thursday. Lester is riding back-to-back victories in which he has given up a total of one run on nine hits and six BB over 15.2 innings.

I'm losing faith in Baltimore right now and they really are in need of a win here. Tillman has gotten the job done against the Red Sox in 2013 and needs to do it once again, but this is a longshot backing this team in my view.

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