Blue Jays vs. Orioles MLB Picks: Starting Pitchers Our Main Matchup Focus

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2016 1:20 PM UTC

The Blue Jays will close out a three-game series in Baltimore tonight and hope to win the rubber match against the AL East leading Orioles. Let’s analyze this matchup and get a MLB pick.

2016 MLB Record (6-3, +2.58 units)

Read my other write-up for Thursday’s action on Rays vs. Red Sox here.


Toronto Blue Jays (8-8, -1.2 units)
The Jays opened their series against the Orioles with a 4-3 victory but last night bowed by the same score to make tonight’s matchup the pivotal rubber match in this three-game set. There are many ways to lose a game but last night proved to be particularly gut-wrenching as a Joe Biagini slider ducked under the mitt of catcher Josh Thole and Baltimore’s Caleb Joseph sprinted home from third base. It was a 10th inning defeat that sent Toronto back to .500 and knotted them with the Red Sox for a second place tie in the AL East.

Marco Estrada, the Jays’ No. 2 man in the rotation behind burgeoning ace Marcus Stroman, allowed eight hits, four earned runs and a walk over the course of six innings in Saturday's 4-2 loss to Boston. Estrada appeared to be affected by a hard shot off his leg by Jackie Bradley Jr. in that his accuracy tailed markedly after the incident and four runs crossed the plate in the following inning. Despite that setback Estrada takes a 1-1 record and a 2.77 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP to the mound in tonight’s action.


Baltimore Orioles (9-4, +6.2 units)
The Baltimore Orioles have been around since 1954 and have never won a game via a passed ball. That all changed last night and led to their series tying 4-3 victory. The O’s continue to sit atop the AL East with a 2 ½ game lead over the Blue Jays and Red Sox with a record of 9-4. Baltimore has rendered a healthy return for all those who have bet them blindly in their MLB picks since the beginning of the season with +6.2 units to the good. The Orioles’ offense is one of the most potent in the league as they are 2nd in batting average, 7th in runs scored, 3rd in on base percentage and tops in slugging percentage.

Though their offense is clicking their pitching has been ailing. Injuries have already reared for the O’s pitching staff and the club is now 14th in the league with a 3.76 ERA. Chris Tillman will get the start tonight, hoping to improve upon his 1-1 record and 5.11 ERA. The seven year veteran is 4-10 when starting against the Blue Jays with an ERA of 5.48 and a WHIP of 1.374. His team's record is 6-14 (-9.6 units) over these starts.


Betting Analysis
When in doubt, go with the better pitcher because we all know pitching wins ball games. Toronto’s Marco Estrada is 2-1 when starting against the O’s with an ERA of 3.33 and a WHIP of 0.945. His team's record is 3-1 (+2.0 units) in those starts. And though Baltimore boasts a more potent offensive lineup the Blue Jays are capable of doing damage themselves with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson in the heart of their lineup.

Here are some more stats to whet your appetite for the Jays tonight:

Toronto is:

 5-1 in their last six games vs. a right-handed starter

 5-2 in their last seven vs. the AL East

4-0 in Estrada’s last four starts during Game 3 of a series

Meanwhile the Orioles are 2-6 in Chris Tillman’s last eight home starts against teams with an even or winning record. Let’s grab the Jays to win this and lay the tiny number that the MLB odds makers are hanging.

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Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays -102
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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