Sportsbooks have Baltimore as the favorite on Sunday and depending on a couple of Toronto players who left yesterday’s games with injuries, the Orioles might ultimately be even larger favorite by game time.
Thus far this series has been about blowouts, the Blue Jays winning on Friday 12-5 and Baltimore bouncing back to yesterday to triumph 7-1. What should we expect against the MLB odds this afternoon, let’s starting drilling down for answers.
Toronto Might Have to Turn to Bench
Shortstop Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista are active, but both left last evening’s contest with minor injuries. Reyes is dealing with an oblique problem and Bautista with leg cramps. Reyes performance on the field has not been as affected with .368 batting average and .409 on-base percentage, while the Blue Jays outfielder is hitting a paltry .167 and has stuck-out in half of his 18 plate appearances.
We will have to wait until Buck Showalter announces his lineup today to see if either tries to play today and the same could be true for a struggling Russell Martin with the catcher 1 for 13 the first week of the season.
Toronto’s offense normally is reliant on the home run for offense and thought the won Game 1, they have yet to hit long ball in this series and they are 6-16 after failing to take one over the wall in consecutive contests.
Baltimore’s Offense Looks Sharp
Like virtually every team in baseball this week, the Orioles were victim to a shutout on Wednesday, but in their four other tilts they have tallied 24 runs.
Travis Snider has enjoyed a very solid week and is hitting .400 with a .550 OBP and in this series Adam Jones has found his stroke, raising his average to .333 (.400 OBP) and the same goes for Alejandro De Aza who is 6 for 18 with two dingers.
One more piece to the O’s offense has yet to arrive in 2015 and that is Manny Machado, who is 0-15, but has walked three times. For the Birds to be a consistent choice for MLB picks against the betting odds, Machado will have to be a large part of their offense down the road.
Pitching Matchup – Hutchinson vs. Tillman
The series finale will feature the two aces of each staff. Hutchinson pitched well in his season debut, limiting the New York Yankees to only three hits and one run through six innings. Last season the Toronto right-hander eighth in the AL with 8.97 strikeouts per nine innings and he’s a pleasure to play behind being a quick worker. He locates his low to mid-90’s on both sides of the plate and can either sink it or have it ride up into right-handed hitters. Hutchinson also features a late-breaking slider and is 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA in eight starts against the Orioles.
MLB baseball handicappers like Chris Tillman for a couple reasons. It starts with him being a very good hurler and in his first assignment of the season, he lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. Tillman often utilities a four-seam fastball that is in the 92-95 MPH range and can also adjust the batter’s eye level with a sharp-breaking curveball that has a tight spin and breaks downward late. The Baltimore right-hander has been given the ninth-best run support in all of baseball the past two years (5.18), which makes him an attractive choice for sports picks. However, Tillman is only 4-6 (O’s 5-9) with a 4.11 ERA versus Toronto. Keep that in mind when placing your MLB picks!
Adam Jones is a bit pricey but is still worth a look because he’s having a good series.
With each team using their best pitcher and the oddsmakers total at 8, might not be too many choices for daily from this contest.
Odds and Outcome
Baltimore was made a -120 favorite and has dipped slightly too around -115 on the money line depending on the sportsbook. The aforementioned total of 8 is lower than its original figure of 8.5, with baseball bettors making adjustments because of the aces.
There are elements to consider Toronto, especially with Hutchinson having success against Baltimore, but since last season when pitching on Sunday in what invariably was a series closer, he the Jays are 0-7. Also understand when Tillman and the Orioles have a total of 8 or 8.5, they are 12-3. Play the home Birds.
MLB Free Pick – Baltimore wins -115 at YouWager