The American League East Division features one of the best rivalries in all of sports with the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, but there are other rivalries within that terrific division. One of the oldest and longest-running rivalries is between the Boston Red Sox franchise and the Baltimore Orioles franchise. The locations and nicknames of each of these teams has changed more than a handful of times throughout the years, but the rivalry has remained since the beginning of the 20th century.
As with any Major League Baseball rivalry, the Red Sox and Orioles have combined to have some memorable moments and bench-clearing brawls throughout the years. The Boston Red Sox have dominated and controlled this rivalry in the past decade, but that wasn’t always the case when these two teams took the field. Boston is one of the most storied franchises in baseball, but the Orioles have had plenty of history as well. With Baltimore and Boston being relatively close in terms of geography, there is no doubt that this rivalry will continue to grow in the future.
History of Red Sox vs. Orioles Rivalry
This rivalry began all the way back in 1901 when the Boston Americans defeated Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 13-2. The 1901 season was the only matchup between Milwaukee and Boston before the Orioles franchise became the St. Louis Browns in 1902. The first matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles didn’t take place until 1954, but the Red Sox and Orioles have been American League East rivals ever since.
These two historic franchises have combined to win 21 American League pennants and 12 World Series titles, although Boston has done most of the heavy lifting. Boston holds a whopping 1,216-1003 lead in the head-to-head standings and has outscored the Orioles by more than 1,000 total runs. The New York Yankees have been the class of the American League East throughout history, but Boston and Baltimore have been challenging the Yankees year after year. Expect this rivalry to continue to grow and keep getting better as time goes on.
The Boston Red Sox were founded in 1901 as the Boston Americans, but the team changed its name for good in 1908. The Red Sox are best known for the “Curse of the Bambino” and the long World Series drought that lasted from 1918-2005.
The Red Sox have actually been one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams, though, winning nine World Series titles, including four from the 2004-2018 seasons. Boston plays their home games in historic Fenway Park, which is the oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues, and several of the greatest players in MLB history have worn the Red Sox uniform. The fans in Boston love their Red Sox, and the team has given them several memorable moments and championships throughout the years.
The Baltimore Orioles franchise was one of the eight charter members of the American League in 1901, but the team got their start in Milwaukee. The team was moved to St. Louis just one year later and became known as the Browns. The team remained in St. Louis for more than 50 years, but the team was unable to find consistent success as the Browns.
In 1954 the team was moved to Baltimore and renamed the Orioles, and they won their first World Series titles in 1966. Unfortunately, the Orioles have once again fallen on tough times in recent years, with their last American League pennant and World Series championship coming in 1983. The Orioles were one of the worst teams in baseball in the last two seasons, but history says that they will bounce back in the future.
Head to Head Comparison of Red Sox and Orioles
Not only do the Boston Red Sox have a clear lead in this rivalry, but they also have a dominant lead in head-to-head success. The Red Sox have won 14 American League pennants since 1901 and went on to win the World Series in nine of those seasons. Baltimore has won just seven American League pennants and has won just three World Series Championships. The two teams are close in American League East Division titles. Boston has won the AL East a total of 10 times, while the Orioles are right behind them with nine division titles. Both the Red Sox and Orioles have had periods of success throughout history, but Boston has had more.
Quick Glance at Last 20 Games Between Red Sox vs. Orioles
The last 20 games between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles have gone about the same way as the entire rivalry, but Boston has been even more dominant. The Red Sox were one of the best teams in baseball during the 2018 regular season, and the Baltimore Orioles were a miserable team that couldn’t win games.
The Boston Red Sox posted a 17-3 record against the Baltimore Orioles dating back to September 20, 2017. It should be no surprise with that kind of record that the Red Sox were dominant at home and on the road. The Red Sox went 8-2 against the Orioles at home at Fenway Park and were an even better 9-1 against the Orioles on the road in Baltimore. Boston had winning streaks of five and six games during the 2018 regular season against their American League East rival.
Just by looking at the American League standings during the 2017-18 regular season it should be no surprise that the Boston Red Sox were the favorites in all 20 matchups against the Baltimore Orioles. The surprising thing is that the Orioles were never able to stay within one run of the Red Sox in any of their 17 losses. The Boston Red Sox posted a 17-3 record in their last 20 games when they were a 1.5 point favorite over the Orioles.
It’s extremely unusual for a team to be a favorite in 20 straight matchups, especially in a rivalry type situation, but that is how it went when the Red Sox and Orioles took the field against each other. The only other thing to look at in this rivalry is the total amount of runs scored in each of the last 20 games. The Red Sox and Orioles combined to go “over” the projected run total in nine of the last 20 games, while going “under” the run total in eight of the games. Boston and Baltimore combined to “push” in the three other games when the total run line was set at eight, nine, and ten runs respectively. No matter how we look at this rivalry, the Boston Red Sox had complete control over the Baltimore Orioles.