MLB Betting Expert Suggest Contrarian Play When Sabathia Faces Orioles

Willie Bee

Thursday, July 21, 2016 1:34 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 21, 2016 1:34 PM UTC

Four consecutive losses have dropped the Orioles out of first place in the AL East. Check out our free baseball pick in the finale of their long series in New York vs. the Yankees.

A long stop in the Bronx has not gone as planned for the Baltimore Orioles. Wednesday's loss was their third this series, and fourth in a row, dropping the O's out of the lead in the AL East and breathing new life into the New York Yankees who go for a sweep Thursday afternoon.

First pitch comes at 1:05 PM (ET) and delivered by CC Sabathia. Chris Tillman is on the hill for Baltimore looking to stave off New York's brooms, and the Orioles are ever so slight favorites with the moneyline very close to a pick 'em. The total opened at 9 and remains there at many sports books though a few such as Bookmaker are listing 8½ and favoring the 'over.'

New York opened with a 2-1 win Monday in a game that also closed near a pick 'em on the MLB odds. Ivan Nova plus the relief trifecta of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman provided the pitching while Alex Rodriguez socked the 696th homer of his career.  The excellent pitching continued the next two evenings in 7-1 and 5-0 victories, the Yankees bullpen near perfect in the first three contests working 9.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out 10 along the way.

Beating Baltimore in the Bronx is nothing new for the Yankees who are 44-24 vs. the Orioles since the new park opened in 2009, 10-3 since start of 2015.


Nothing But Zeroes When Sabathia Faces O's in 2016
Tillman has been a much bigger thorn in Boston's side over the years than when he faces the Yankees, but the Anaheim native has still done well vs. the Bronx Bombers. The Orioles have won both of his goes against New York this season, and eight of his last 11 assignments in the rivalry. The Yanks did rough him up a bit at Camden Yards in early June, banging three out of the park, but Tillman spun a gem when the squared off a month before that.

A-Rod is the one hitter that has consistently gotten the better of the righthander, five of his seven career hits off Tillman going over the fences, one of those in that June outing we mentioned. Baltimore is 5-3 in Tillman's eight road starts, and baseball bettors are a happy lot overall with his 15+ unit return thanks to 17 wins in 20 assignments.

Sabathia is also in the black at the window, but just barely with the Yankees 8-8 in his 16 starts. The most profitable wager when Carsten Charles takes the mound has been the 'under,' paying off in nine of those outings with three pushes. That trend has been slowly dissolving, however, thanks in large part to the large lefty allowing 25 earned runs over his last five appearances (28.1 IP, 7.94 ERA).

Maybe he can recapture some of his good mojo from earlier this season when he takes on the O's; Sabathia saw them in Charm City the previous two series, tossing 12 shutout innings in the process while striking out 11.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Filling in for crew chief Bill Miller, Mark Carlson should have the dish for the matinee. He's been a level ump as far as totals go the past few seasons, 9-10 O/U vs. the baseball odds in 2016 and 58-55-3 O/U/P since the start of the '13 slate. Carlson does have a slight 11-8 lean to home teams this year, 3-3 as the underdogs. It's his first appearance at Yankee Stadium since May 2015, both the 'under' and the pinstripes cashing his last two plate assignments here.

The forecast calls for a sunny, warm afternoon in the Big Apple. The thermometer should be sitting on 87ºF for the first pitch with an 8-10 mph SW breeze (out to left) throughout the afternoon.

Playing the 'under' has been the way to go when either pitcher is on the mound, 11-22-3 O/U/P so far this year, but Sabathia's recent form has me going contrary to that trend for my free MLB pick.

Free MLB Pick: Over 9 +100
Best Line Offered:   at BetOnline
Season: 38-29 (+10.35)

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