The Orioles and the Red Sox are tied in the basement of the American League East as this series gets under way, both 5.5 games back of the division-leading Yankees, who have once again grabbed Satan's horns and are holding on for dear life. The Red Sox are probably also trying to clutch Satan's horns, being as they are four games below .500 despite a -43 run differential.
The real big storyline in tonight's game will probably end up being the Orioles going up against former O's prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, who, as we all know, was traded to Boston for Andrew Miller last July. The better Rodriguez does - and he's got a 0.61 ERA over 14.2 innings in his first two MLB starts, which he both won - the more painful that will be. You have to give up value to get value, and Miller was valuable and for that matter still is valuable, if only for the Yankees now.
Whether that trade was a good one or not is not a question that will be answered regardless of the outcome of tonight's game. We'll nonetheless feel a lot better about things if the Orioles don't get totally dominated by Rodriguez tonight. That's just the way these things go. The best reason to win tonight's game is to not be in last place any longer. Another good reason to win would be to crawl closer to .500.
|BOSTON RED SOX||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Brock Holt - RF||Delmon Young - RF|
|Hanley Ramirez - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|David Ortiz - DH||Matt Wieters - C|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Chris Davis - DH|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Nolan Reimold - LF|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Mookie Betts - CF||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Blake Swihart - C||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP||Miguel Gonzalez - RHP|