MLB Betting Preview: AL Wildcard Orioles vs Blue Jays

Davis and Bautista both # 19s showing their jersey numbers

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 2:37 PM GMT

Sports handicapper Ian Cameron provides a betting preview of the MLB American League Wildcard Game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

 Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Chris Tillman matches up against Marcus Stroman in tonight’s AL Wildcard Game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. These teams are often talked about as two of the hottest hitting teams in baseball but that hasn’t necessarily been the case down the stretch of the regular season.

Baltimore has been averaging just 3.1 runs scored per game in their last 15 games to close the regular season and Toronto put up just 11 runs in their last 5 games combined to finish up the season. Chris Tillman is in solid current form and also has pitched well recently against the Blue Jays holding them to 10 runs in 22.1 innings pitched in four starts against the Jays this season with Baltimore going 4-0 in those games. Toronto’s lineup has been scuffling of late and despite Baltimore’s road woes for much of the season, the Orioles did win two of three games at the Rogers Centre last week against the Jays including the game started by Tillman.

 

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On the flip side, Marcus Stroman has the playoff experience edge over Tillman whose lone previous playoff start in the 2014 ALCS against Kansas City wasn’t a good one and Stroman did pitch well in three playoff starts for the Jays against Texas and Kansas City last year. That being said, his 2016 form hasn’t been nearly as good and his recent track record against the Orioles certainly hasn’t been that good.

Stroman has surrendered 15 runs on 27 hits in 16 innings of work against Baltimore in his last three starts against them since June and the Jays are 0-3 in those games. Stroman has it in him to provide a strong, step up pitching effort in a pressure packed “1 and done” situation such as this but even if he does pitch relatively well, there is no certainty the Jays will find enough offense to be leading this game by any type of margin considering they have not been hitting well at all recently especially with RISP. If the game is close late, the edge may go to Baltimore whose bullpen has been a lot more rock steady than Toronto’s down the stretch.

A late-season calf injury to key 7th inning reliever Joaquin Benoit has hurt the Jays bullpen to a certain degree and forced other players to move into different roles in that pen and it’s worth noting the 8th and 9th inning with Jason Grilli and Roberto Osuna have been rocky in the last couple weeks while dominant Orioles closer Zach Britton has gone a perfect 47-for-47 in save opportunities this season.

 

I will recommend light opinions and leans to Baltimore on the run line at +1.5 runs -160 and the game to go Under the total of 8.5 runs as it was released across the board. Toronto finished the season going 2-3 in their last 5 games and the two victories came by just a single run and I think if the Jays win this game at all, it won’t come by a margin of more than one run.

 

Free MLB Pick: Baltimore RL +1.5 -155, Under 8.5 -105
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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