Orioles vs Red Sox Predictions, Picks, Odds: Putting the O in Opening Day

The Red Sox took a definite step back in the offseason, while a team on the rise in the Orioles has all kinds of upside to spare. Our MLB picks for Opening Day are targeting the side trending in the right direction.

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2023 9:19 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Gunnar Henderson MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

MLB opening day is here with the Boston Red Sox hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Both of these storied franchises are looking to show improvement after finishing at the bottom of the AL East last season.

MLB betting lines opened with the Red Sox as slim -130 home favorites as they look to avoid a last-place finish for the second straight year. Here are my best free Orioles vs. Red Sox MLB picks and predictions for March 30.

Orioles vs Red Sox odds

Orioles vs Red Sox predictions

It's tough to trust either veteran starter in this one. Not only are they making their first start with a new team, but both ranked among the bottom 20th percentile in expected batting average last season.

I do have more faith in Baltimore's lineup as well as its bullpen and fielding ability. Cedric Mullens is in line for a bounce-back season, while Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle provide plenty of pop. Meanwhile, Adley Rutschman looks poised for a breakout campaign after hitting 13 homers and 35 doubles in 113 games as a rookie last year. Add in AL Rookie of the Year odds favorite Gunnar Henderson and this is a young lineup that should be able to generate runs.

The Orioles also have a promising group of relievers with a bullpen that finished ninth in the majors last season with an ERA of 3.49. Keegan Akin, Cionel Perez, and closer Felix Bautista all looked lights-out this spring and should be even better with a year of seasoning under their belt. 

The Red Sox were ninth in the majors in OPS last season but losing Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez hurts, while Trevor Story will miss most of the season as he rehabs from UCL surgery. Masataka Yoshida is an exciting addition after driving in 13 runs during the World Baseball Classic but he'll still need to adjust to big-league pitching. 

Although the Bo Sox signed several players to improve one of baseball's worst bullpens, they still have major question marks outside of former All-Star closer Kenley Jansen and setup man Chris Martin — especially with injuries sending Joely Rodriguez to the IL and forcing Tanner Houck into the rotation. 

While Boston's slugging was good enough to bail it out of tough spots at times last year, it might not be good enough to make up for mediocre pitching and fielding this season. I'll back a young and hungry Baltimore team against a Boston side that might need to hit rock bottom before becoming a postseason contender.  

My best bet: Orioles ML (+110)

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Orioles vs Red Sox moneyline analysis

After a brutal 2021 campaign that saw Baltimore win just 52 games, the young Orioles made major strides last season, going 83-79. They ended up finishing five games ahead of the Red Sox, who struggled with their pitching and finished 25th in the majors with a collective ERA of 4.53. 

Boston bolstered its bullpen but doesn't seem to have really improved its rotation, while its lineup has taken a clear step back. On the other hand, Baltimore's young lineup should be even better this season especially if Henderson can live up to expectations as baseball's top prospect. 

Rutschman and Mountcastle were raking during the postseason and if that carries over into the regular season, they'll be even more dangerous than last year. 

Rafael Devers will have to carry the Red Sox offense while Justin Turner and Adam Duvall provide some pop. With some big departures in Bogaets and Martinez, it's tough to see the Red Sox faring any better this season than last. 

Both teams are in similar situations with their starting pitchers for the opener. Baltimore's Kyle Gibson and Boston's Corey Kluber are both right-handed veterans who signed with these teams in the offseason after unimpressive seasons. Neither does an effective job of making batters miss and both have mediocre velocity while allowing way too much contact. 

Orioles vs Red Sox Over/Under analysis

Thanks to solid hitting and pathetic pitching, the Red Sox played in plenty of higher-scoring contests last year. However, with their bullpen improving and their lineup taking a step back, that might not necessarily be the same this season.

Ultimately the total will come down to how well Gibson and Kluber pitch and both were wildly inconsistent last year. Gibson had an expected ERA of 4.46 while pitching to an expected slugging percentage of .420. Meanwhile, Kluber had an xERA of 4.00 and an xSLG of .416. 

Even in his prime, Kluber wasn't known for his velocity (typically topping out at about 92.5 mph on his sinker and fastball) and now those pitches hit the radar at just 89 mph while he relies predominantly on off-speed pitches. He rarely walks batters but he gets touched a lot and had an opponent batting average of .274 last year. He could be in for an even worse campaign now that he'll be calling Fenway home instead of a pitcher-friendly park like Tropicana. 

Gibson throws with a little bit more velocity than Kluber but he's still far from overpowering and he gets hit harder. His OBA of .268 last season was almost as bad as Kluber's.

Orioles vs Red Sox game info

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
First pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET

Orioles vs Red Sox betting preview

Starting pitchers

Kyle Gibson (0-0, 0.00 ERA): The veteran righthander had a 10-8 record with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP across 31 starts for the Phillies last year. The 34-year-old was named an All-Star for the first time with the Rangers in 2021 but regressed after being traded at the deadline to Philadelphia and never recovered his previous form. 

In 18 2-3 innings during the preseason, he pitched to a 3.86 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP. 

Corey Kluber (0-0, 0.00 ERA): Kluber went 10-10 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 31 starts with Tampa Bay last season. That solid WHIP is due to an extremely low walk rate but he allowed opponents to bat .274. The former two-time Cy Young winner, is nowhere near the pitcher he was in his prime but is still a capable starter. He made a pair of starts at Fenway last season giving up 11 hits and three runs across 12 innings. 

Kluber has a 3.24 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP in 16 2-3 innings during the preseason. 

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Trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in Baltimore's last five road games while also going 4-1 in Boston's previous five contests at home. Find more MLB betting trends for Orioles vs. Red Sox


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