5-Game Winning Streak & Top Starter Give Orioles a Clear Edge Over Tigers

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, July 30, 2015 1:59 PM GMT

The Tigers and Orioles meet to begin their 4-game series. The Orioles managed to turn the ship around with their 5-game winning streak, while the Tigers are still struggling. How are we placing our MLB Picks here? Find out!

Detroit Tigers (Simon) vs. Baltimore Orioles (Gonzales) 7:05 ET
The Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles begin a 4-game weekend set at Camden Yards on Thursday night. The first pitch is set for 7:05 ET. This game features the good-hit, no-pitch Tigers vs. a Baltimore team, who is nearly the equal of Detroit at the plate, but far superior to Detroit on the mound.  Detroit is on slides of 9-18, including 5-11 in which they have averaged just 3.8 RPG with a .236 BA. Meanwhile, Baltimore has turned around their 5-15 slide with a 5-game winning streak to pull within 1-game of Minnesota for the final playoff spot. That provides a clear edge in motivation for home-standing Baltimore today.  The final advantage in the game comes with a 30-18 home record for Baltimore against a sub-.500 road record of visiting Detroit.  

The 49-52 record for Detroit is not totally surprising.  That can happen when you trade your best pitcher (Scherzer) to Washington and have your 2nd best pitcher, Verlander, return from injury to pitch to a greater than .500 ERA in 8 starts, where you have gone 1-7. Without pitching (Detroit has a .763 OPS, 28th in MLB), even the big Detroit bats with a .765 OPS (No. 2 in MLB) can carry the load.  And, when the hitting, without the injured Cabrera goes south, there are real issues.  Such is the case in the 5-11 slide, where Detroit is averaging less than 4 RPG. Tonight, they send inconsistent starter, Simon, to the mound.  In his previous start, Simon worked 6+ IP, allowing 1 run on 5 hits in a 5-1 win vs. slumping Boston.  But, he left that game in the 7th inning with a strained groin.  He may still not be 100% for this start.  Prior to that, Simon had a 10.16 ERA in 6 starts.  Of equal concern is his PLAY AGAINST 1.65 road WHIP in 10 road starts.  In short, he is not to be trusted in this game, nor are the fading Detroit bats!

The Baltimore hitting was dreadful in a 5-15 slide. Though it has improved to some degree in the 5-game winning streak, it is the Baltimore pitching whose starters have a 1.24 ERA that has led the 5-game winning streak.  Tonight, Gonzalez looks to continue that excellence.  In his last 2 starts, Gonzalez has allowed just 3 runs in 12 2/3 IP.  Most impressive, however, has been his work from this mound, where Baltimore has won 6 of his 9 home starts with Gonzalez posting a PLAY ON 1.10 home WHIP.

MLB Picks: Baltimore Orioles -153 at 5Dimes

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