With Baltimore continuing to scuffle on the road, those betting baseball might take another look at Tampa Bay for a third straight day as a favorite over the Orioles in the series finale.
hile the Birds cannot take flight because of how they are playing away from home, the Rays are hanging in the AL East race and if they could put together nice spurt, they could make it a three-team race with the Yankees and Red Sox in the division.
Here is what to look at for your MLB Picks in this contest Sunday.
Pitching Matchup - Tillman vs. Odorizzi
It is sad to say but Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA) has turned into Ubaldo Jimenez this season. (And that is not good) Since winning on May 7th, the Tillman/Orioles combination is 2-6. While questions keep coming up about the right-hander's health after starting the season on the DL, nothing is said to wrong, yet something is really amiss. Tillman is giving up a .360 batting average and .431 OBP and has allowed 22 walks in only 39 2/3 innings. With the Birds rotation the worst in the American League, not many places to turn.
Tampa Bay has not had much success when Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.78) has taken the mound of late with a 1-5 mark. Odorizzi gets some of the blame and so does the bullpen for giving up leads or cracking when the games have been tied. The 27-year has shown he can do the job in conceding only a .232 batting average, however, in his past six starts, Odorizzi has given up 16 walks and six homers in only 32 innings.
Baltimore Skittish Offensively and Tampa Bay Only Knows One Way to Play
As of Saturday, the Baltimore offense has gotten chilly again with 15 runs tallied in their last five contests. No team stays hot all the time, yet the Orioles are like summertime thunderstorms along the Maryland coastline, strictly hit and miss. Besides the inconsistency of the offense, the Birds batters are under a great deal of pressure, since in Baltimore's last 20 games (as of 6/23) they have allowed 5 or more runs scored in 20 straight skirmishes, tying the major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.
If you are making sports picks and are not familiar with Tampa Bay offense, you should be, because it is full of extremes. In the American League, the Rays are 2nd in long balls and first in walks, which leads to them averaging 4.8 runs per contest. Tampa Bay is also energy conscious at Tropicana Field, creating their own wind energy in leading the league in strikeouts, with 150 more than the AL average.
Betting Odds, Head to Head and Bullpen Numbers
At this time we do not know the exact MLB odds, but we expect them to say Tampa Bay as -140 to -155 favorite with a total of 9.5. Baltimore has an 11-9 edge the past three years at the Trop (as of 6/23) and the UNDER is 11-8-1. The Rays are 8th in bullpen ERA in the AL and Orioles are 10th, just keep in mind the home team is tied for 3rd in blown saves.
The Winner Is......
With Tillman really having a hard time, his team 11-24 away from crab cake land and Tampa Bay 24-16 in Clearwater, not saying Baltimore cannot win, but I have no faith in them that they will.
Editor's Note: Few lines are Available At Time of Writing, BOL & Sportsbetting.Ag are the Only Reputable Books with Early OddsFree MLB Play - Tampa Bay (-151)Best Betting Line: At Bet Online