After the Orioles lost five consecutive games on the road, it looked like the team might have trouble making it back to the .500 mark this season. However, the O's went into Kansas City and won three straight before losing the series finale on Sunday. They are currently 19-19 and in third place in the American League East.

Starting tonight, they'll face the division-leading Boston Red Sox for two games at Camden Yards. While the Red Sox have been nearly unbeatable at home (14-5), they've been pretty vulnerable away from Fenway Park (10-12). The Orioles will need to take advantage of Boston's early road struggles during this series.


It could be very difficult.

The Red Sox will send right-hander Josh Beckett to the mound tonight. He's 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA in six starts this season. Against the Orioles in his career, Beckett is 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA. Tomorrow, left-hander Jon Lester (2-2, 4.06 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox. Lester is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles.

The Red Sox will be wrapping up a 10-game road trip with the two games in Baltimore. They won three out of four games against the Detroit Tigers before losing three out of four to the Minnesota Twins, including their last two.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday 5/13: Jeremy Guthrie (1-3, 4.32) vs. Josh Beckett (4-2, 3.70)

Wednesday 5/14: Daniel Cabrera (3-1, 3.54) vs. Jon Lester (2-2, 4.06)

Who you should play from the Red Sox

Kevin Youkilis, 1B – It's no surprise that outfielder Manny Ramirez is hitting home runs this season, but where did Youkilis get this power? With eight home runs already in 2008, Youkilis is on pace to exceed his career high of 16, which he set last season. He's hitting .322 with 30 RBIs and 27 runs scored, so there's no reason he shouldn't be in your starting lineup. In his career against the Orioles, Youkilis is hitting .299 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 47 games. He's 4-for-13 lifetime against Cabrera.

Who you should bench from the Red Sox

Jason Varitek, C – He's still a pretty decent option at catcher for your fantasy team, but Varitek shouldn't be starting against the Orioles if you have a better option. He has a .238 career batting average against the Orioles. Varitek won't hit above .260 this season and he hasn't homered since April 15, so there's not much value in playing him every day.

Who you should play from the Orioles

Nick Markakis, RF – In case you haven't noticed any of the 9,000 advertisements on the subject, the first 10,000 fans 15-and-over will receive a free jersey T-shirt with Markakis' number at tonight's game. Do you think that will motivate the 24-year-old outfielder to lead the Orioles to victory over the Red Sox? If it's any indication of what to expect tonight, Adam Jones was 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks on his T-shirt night in April. However, the Orioles lost that game, 11-3, to the Toronto Blue Jays. OK, so maybe T-shirt nights aren't good omens.

Who you should bench from the Orioles

Brian Roberts, 2B – I mentioned before the series in Kansas City that Roberts' struggles should be noted. Well, the struggles only got worse during that four-game series. He was 2-for-11 in the series before leaving Saturday's game with a bruised foot. He didn't play Sunday, but Roberts should play tonight. Still, I'd like to have him healthy before putting him back in my lineup. He'll turn it around eventually, but it's probably good to have another solid second baseman at this point.