MLB Pick On Gausman To Pitch Orioles & Upset Blue Jays Tonight

Friday, June 10, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

Kevin Gausman of the Orioles may literally be the unluckiest pitcher in baseball this year, but he gets our MLB pick call Friday vs. the overvalued Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays.

 

The home team could be overvalued north of the border Friday night vs. a winless pitcher when the terribly unlucky Kevin Gausman and the Baltimore Orioles (36-23, 12-12 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays (32-30, 14-15 home) in the second game of a four-game weekend series from Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET in a game available on MASN2.

The posted money line at Heritage Sports has Baltimore as a modest road underdog for this contest at current MLB Odds of +118.

Orioles are Tops in the AL Central
The Blue Jays may be the defending American League East Champions, but it is the Orioles that lead the division this year by two games over the second place Boston Red Sox, and Baltimore extended its lead over third place Toronto to 5½ games by rallying for the 6-5 win in the series opener here last night. That made it five straight wins for the Orioles, who were coming off of a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.

The Blue Jays meanwhile have been trying to claw back after a slow start to their season in defense of their division title, and they only recently went over the .500 mark as MLB Picks. However, they are now in a bit of a mini-funk losing three of their last four games, although they do remain two games over the breakeven mark. That is of small consolation to their supporters though as the Jays are 21st on the Major League Money Line Standings at -4.56 units to date.


Gausman Could Sue for Non-Support
If you were to look up “unlucky” in the dictionary, you might just see a picture of Gausman next to the definition as he may be having his best Major League season statistically with a 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 53.2 innings vs. just 13 walks, and yet he is 0-3 in nine starts with six no-decisions despite the Orioles leading the Major Leagues in home runs with 89 and ranking fourth in runs scored with 4.76 per game!

For whatever reason though, despite that offensive prowess for everyone else, Baltimore has somehow failed Gausman miserably giving him just 3.11 runs per game of support. We will just chalk that up as one very weird anomaly that should ultimately correct itself, with tonight being a good time to start, and the wins will start coming for Gausman as long as he maintains his form.

And we see no reason for him to regress either as quite a few experts predicted a breakout season for him this year and he has delivered, as evidenced by the great strikeout-to-walk rate. He has also pitched well in his last three career starts vs. Toronto the last two years allowing a grand total of four runs and 14 hits in 19 innings, including dominant start the last time he faced them when he allowed one run and five hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in eight innings!

Is Estrada for Real?
While there can be very little doubt that Gausman is better than his record, Estrada on the other hand may be overachieving with his unbelievable 2.41 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 74.2 innings covering 11 starts. And yet he just keeps on chugging along as he enters this contest riding a streak of four consecutive Quality Starts since a tough outing vs. the Texas Rangers on May 14th.

We remain quite skeptical however as this is a guy that walks too many batters at 3.50 per nine innings and has somehow gotten away with an incredulously low .191 BABIP allowed and high 80.7 percent strand rate to this point! Just one of those levels would have been enough to consider the ERA and WHIP fraudulent, but the fact that he has been extremely lucky on both categories has created the Perfect Storm, with that BABIP allowed being the lowest in baseball.

As you might expect, the combination of those luck factors has led to a less than flattering 4.68 xFIP, and conventional wisdom says that Estrada should start converging to that figure eventually, making him a prime fade for the immediate future.

Bautista Questionable
Finally, the Blue Jays could possibly be without the services of Jose Batista tonight, as he is currently listed as questionable after exiting the loss last night with tightness in his right thigh. If he cannot go, there would be an obvious drop-off with Ezequiel Carrera most likely pressed into service in the outfield.

Then again, Gausman could probably stand some good luck given how well he has pitched with literally nothing to show for it in the win column, and when you add in Estrada being on the opposite end of the luck spectrum, we could have a correcting result with Gausman finally breaking through and Baltimore getting the mild upset win in Toronto on Friday.

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Free MLB Pick: Orioles +118
Best Line Offered: at Intertops
MLB Record: 37-33-2, +6.66