An AL East battle will be underway this evening as the Boston Red Sox begin a road trip to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. Join us for our MLB odds series, where our Red Sox-Orioles prediction and pick will be revealed.

Trying to stay afloat nearing the final stretch of the regular season, there is a sense of desperation that the Red Sox are playing with at the moment. Winners in five of their last seven games, Boston has won their last two series overall and will look to win a third consecutive within the confines of Camden Yards. Getting the start in this one for the Red Sox will be the righty Kutter Crawford, who is 3-4 with a 4.18 ERA in his starts this season.

At 61-57, Baltimore sits 11.5 games out of the division but only trail in the AL Wild Card by 2.5 games and is in no question right in the thick of the playoff race. After compiling a record of 52-110 in 2021, the fact that they have already surpassed their win total from last season is an accomplishment within itself. On the mound to counter Crawford for the Red Sox will be Jordan Lyles. The Orioles right-hander is an even 9-9 with a 4.48 ERA on the campaign.

Here are the Red Sox-Orioles MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Red Sox-Orioles Odds

Boston Red Sox: -1.5 (+140)

Baltimore Orioles: +1.5 (-170)

Over: 8.5 (-120)

Under: 8.5 (-102)

Why The Red Sox Could Cover The Spread

It is well documented how up and down the Red Sox have been this season, and with trailing in the Wild Card race by five games, the time is now to turn on the afterburners and go all out on the diamond before it becomes too late. Despite coming out on the wrong side of things in Pittsburgh by a score of 8-2, the Red Sox have drastically improved their play of late to put them back into contention.

If the Red Sox are going to cover the spread this evening as visitors, they will need a good amount of offense, offense, and you guessed it, some more offense. With that being said, Boston must display a sense of patience when at the plate. Of course, stringing together some key hits is one thing, but also running up the pitch count by taking pitches and putting the pressure on the Orioles' pitching staff could go a long way in covering the spread. Alas, if the Red Sox can accomplish this feat and knock Jordan Lyles out of the game early, the Orioles would be forced to go to their fatigued bullpen much earlier than they would like.

Additionally, a strong outing from Crawford would do wonders for this Red Sox squad. The good news? Crawford has been electric as of late, as he has lasted at least five innings in each of his previous eight appearances. Even better news? Lyles has struggled versus Boston in his career with a 2-1 record and a 5.31 ERA in six all-time starts.

Why The Orioles Could Cover The Spread

Even though the Orioles currently have a winning record, they have hit a slight fork in the road by coming up short in five of their last eight contests. Ever since a matchup with the Blue Jays was postponed due to weather back on Aug. 10th, Baltimore has gone 3-5 since as they attempt to get the train back on the tracks with only a week and a half remaining in the month of August.

Despite only mustering up three runs in their last two showings combined, the O's have been slightly better on offense than what they have showcased lately. On the season, Baltimore has raked in 497 total runs and have slugged their way to a .389 slugging percentage, which is ranked around the middle of the league in that statistic. The Orioles would most likely benefit from laying off pitches and staying patient as well, but they cannot afford to not be aggressive if the perfect pitch is thrown when in the batter's box. Expect right-fielder Anthony Santander to continue his career year in 2022, as he has belted 20 home runs and driven in 62 runs while slashing a healthy .255 at the same time.

Pitching-wise, what is it going to take for Jordan Lyles to snap out of his funk against the Red Sox? In his last start versus the Rays, Lyles' miss rate was at an all-time high with nine strikeouts to his name but was also tagged for four runs in only 4 1/3 innings pitched. Regardless, the Orioles are relying on Lyles to be consistent throughout this one. If he cannot, it is hard to imagine Baltimore covering in this one if he can't keep the Red Sox off of the scoreboard.

Final Red Sox-Orioles Prediction & Pick

Both teams need a win more than they need water. Even with Lyles' rollercoaster play, the Orioles have been a fairly stellar team at home with a 33-22 record. Not to mention, but the O's are +1.5 run underdogs and they should be a safe bet to cover the spread at home against an unpredictable Red Sox squad.

Final Red Sox-Orioles Prediction & Pick: Orioles +1.5 (-170)